Monday, January 25, 2010

Rasmussen: Pence (R) 47%, Bayh (D) 44%

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh is another Democratic incumbent who could find himself in a tough reelection battle this fall. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds that Bayh attracts support from just 44% or 45% of voters when matched against his top potential Republican challengers.

Congressman Mike Pence is reportedly considering running against Bayh. At this time, he attracts 47% of the vote while Bayh picks up 44%.

A former Republican congressman, John Hostettler, has already indicated he will challenge Bayh. In that match-up, it’s Bayh with a three-point edge, 44% to 41%.

Freshman State Senator Marlin Stutzman has announced that he is in the race. He trails the incumbent by 12 points, 45% to 33%.

Any incumbent who attracts less than 50% support at this point in a campaign is considered potentially vulnerable. However, incumbents have many advantages in a campaign, and Bayh has already raised a large amount of cash for his campaign.

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As in many other states, there is a strong correlation between support for the congressional health care plan and voting behavior. Just 37% of Indiana voters favor the plan, while 60% oppose it. Those figures are similar to the national average and include 16% who Strongly Favor the plan and 48% who are Strongly Opposed.

Those who Strongly Favor the plan overwhelmingly prefer Bayh. Among those who are Strongly Opposed, 80% say they’d vote for Pence, 70% for Hostettler and 56% for Stutzman. In Stutzman’s case, 17% of those who Strongly Oppose the plan would vote for Bayh, and 26% are either not sure or would prefer a third option.

In 2008, Barack Obama narrowly carried Indiana with 50% of the vote. However, just 43% of Hoosier voters currently approve of the way Obama is performing his role as president. That decline is consistent with the national trend as measured in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Fifty-six percent (56%) of Indiana voters now disapprove of the president’s performance. The current figures include 16% who Strongly Approve and 48% who Strongly Disapprove.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels earns approval from 70% of the state’s voters while 29% disapprove. Those figures include 35% who Strongly Approve and 12% who Strongly Disapprove.

Just four percent (4%) of Indiana voters rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent while 56% say it’s in poor shape. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say it’s getting better, and 43% say it’s getting worse.

Seventy-two percent (72%) say it’s at least somewhat likely there will be another terrorist attack in the United States during the coming year. Nationally, fears of such an attack jumped dramatically following the Christmas Day bombing attempt. Seventy-three percent (73%) of Indiana voters want the bomber tried by the military as a terrorist while 16% want him tried in civilian courts. Seventy-four percent (74%) favor the use of full-body scanners for airport security.

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