IN-Sen, IN-03: Coats Leads, Souder Vulnerable

SurveyUSA for the Mike Downs Center For Indiana Politics (4/22-26, likely voters):

Dan Coats (R): 36

John Hostettler (R): 24

Marlin Stutzman (R): 18

Don Bates (R): 6

Richard Behney (R): 4

Undecided: 13

(MoE: ±5%)

A conservative split between Hostettler and a surprisingly potent Stutzman seems to be giving Coats a path to victory, even with an underwhelming level of primary support. In the general, though, Coats starts the race off as the GOP’s strongest choice:

Brad Ellsworth (D): 31

Dan Coats (R): 47

Undecided: 22

Brad Ellsworth (D): 32

John Hostettler (R): 45

Undecided: 23

Brad Ellsworth (D): 35

Marlin Stutzman (R): 41

Undecided: 25

(MoE: ±2.8%)

The DSCC managed to produce a clean hit on Coats on what seemed like a daily basis immediately after his entry into this race, and I hope they have a few chestnuts ready to go after the primary is done.

Meanwhile, SUSA also took a look at the IN-03 GOP primary, and the results are not pretty for incumbent Mark Souder:

Mark Souder (R-inc): 35

Bob Thomas (R): 29

Phil Troyer (R): 19

Greg Dickman (R): 2

Undecided: 16

(MoE: ±5%)

Souder, one of the lesser lights of a state delegation dominated by Republican deadwood, has been somewhat notorious over the past two cycles for dramatically under-performing his district’s Republican tilt. It looks like a primary loss is a live possibility at this point, with self-funding auto dealer Bob Thomas nipping on Souder’s corn-encrusted heels. Mark this one down on your calendars as another fun primary to watch.

The full polling memo for the Senate race is available below the fold.

28 thoughts on “IN-Sen, IN-03: Coats Leads, Souder Vulnerable”

  1. And I have no idea what’s going to happen.  With probably very low turnout, and no one candidate even close to “catching fire,” anything could happen with the leading three candidates.  I actually think Stutzman would be the hardest to beat, as he doesn’t have the serious flaws that Coats or the Ho’ has — and with time to raise money and unite the R’s behind him, he’d scare me the most.  But he’s most likely going to still come in 3rd.

    I’m still not sure who I’d rather have Ellsworth go up agaisnt.  The whole situation is a bit too fluid to say anything definate, especailly since Ellsworth is going to have a big $$ advantage once he really gets started.

  2. When he announced he was running everyone was so happy saying this was a great chance to hold on to the seat with a moderate Democrat running but now he’s down double digits to every Republican. What’s the deal? Is it just name ID?

  3. one thing if you will please. Coats is under 50, that is important. Coats has fairly good name ID, and is the Republican candidate in a fairly conservative state. In all reality most people know Coats as the former Senator, but not of his recent lobbying work, once that becomes common knowledge, I would expect a greater swing towards Ellsworth. Coats writes the ads for us. Don’t take the GE match ups for much, my gosh Ellsworth represents only one-ninth of the state and like I said most people know who Coats is. Ellsworth is the dream candidate. He is running as a Washington outsider, despite being a sitting Congressman. If you go to his website he barely mentions his tenure in Congress, but drones on and on about his service as sheriff. The opening pic is of him in his sheriff’s outfit by his squad car. In some respects Ellsworth is farther to the right than Coats. Don’t stress too much we will still win this race. I will admit I am surprised Coats is doing so well, but in all reality none of the other candidate was able to get their names out there, and are slipping the conservative vote. I know many teabaggers (again, they call themselves this to me) who will not show up for Coats.

    As for Souder, I can’t say I’m all together that surprised. I think the primary is definitely a tossup. No one really likes Souder in either party, and I can’t say I blame them at all. Souder is an absolutely horrible Congressman. I would go as far to say I would rather have (gasp!) Mike Sodrel as my Congressman than him.

  4. I mean, how many political losers are there out there, as lame as Hostettler, who made triumphant comebacks (in a huge step-up from their previous position, no less) within five years later? This is John Hostettler we’re talking about; one of the most loser-y politicians of the last decade. At least Coats was around in the Senate for about a decade and left his position gracefully (as in, didn’t run for re-election and lose by 18%, like Hostettler).

    I think Stuzman would be better than Hostettler, not as competitive as Coats. No matter what, though, Ellsworth’s in trouble if Generic GOP is defeating Generic Dem here by about 10 points. I suspect this is probably Lean GOP. It’d be Likely GOP if the right’s field weren’t so flawed.  

  5. that they didn’t poll GE matchups in IN-03.  As of now, there is no general election polling of that race at all, despite Hayhurst’s strong performance in 2006 and the snake pit that is the Republican primary right now.  I’d like to know, for instance, how carpetbagger Thomas is doing against Hayhurst, or whether people still prefer Souder by large margins to the town doctor who’s leading him in fundraising (by $70,000 CoH last report).

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