Mourdock trails by 11 percent in Indiana

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Republican Indiana Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock now trails his Democratic opponent Rep. Joe Donnelly by double digits, according to a poll released Friday.

The Howey/DePauw poll is the first poll of Indiana voters since the final Senate debate, during which Mourdock said “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” while explaining his pro-life stance.

The comment was met with much criticism, and Mourdock found himself in the unenviable position of explaining that he does not believe God condones rape. He has since been faced with a barrage of Democratic attacks over the the incident, which appear to have turned a once-close race into something of a rout.

Mourdock now trails Donnelly by 11 points, according to the Howey/DePauw poll, a bipartisan poll conducted by Republican pollster Christine Matthews and Democratic pollster Fred Yang. Donnelly leads with 47 percent of the vote, while Mourdock gets only 36 percent. The Libertarian candidate, Andrew Horning, gets six percent.

The poll surveyed 800 likely voters from October 28-30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed knew about Mourdock’s comment, while just 13 percent did not.

In a state Romney is expected to easily win, only 70 percent of Republicans say they plan to vote for Mourdock.

“It’s all over but the crying,” wrote Matthews in her analysis of the numbers.

The Mourdock campaign countered Friday morning with an internal poll conducted by Republican pollster Jon McLaughlin that showed Mourdock ahead by two points, 46 percent to 44 percent.

In fact, it had Mourdock gaining momentum over the past week, gaining from 44 percent on October 25, while Donnelly’s numbers remained stagnant at 44 percent.

The internal poll surveyed 600 likely voters from October 31 through November 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

McLaughlin dismissed the Howey/DePauw results in a conference call with reporters Friday morning, saying the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was a client of Yang’s, and therefore he could not be expected to produce an accurate poll.

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