The DSCC released the following memo on a recent poll of likely Hoosier voters and their opinion of the U.S. Senate race. The DSCC commissioned the survey before Evan Bayh formally announced he would run for the seat.
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group
DATE: July 18, 2016
RE: Recent Indiana Statewide Survey
The results of our July 12-14 survey conducted among 602 likely voters (+4.1%) shows that a sizeable majority of Hoosiers look positively on Evan Bayh’s past service as their Senator and support him in his comeback bid by an overwhelming 21-point margin.
When asked to rate Evan Bayh’s job performance when he served as Senator, 55% of Hoosier voters give him a positive rating of excellent or good; 25% say his performance was fair, while just 7% rate him as poor. While Bayh as expected has strong ratings from Democrats, the depth of his bipartisan support is evidenced by his 57% excellent/good rating from Independents and his net positive rating (47% excellent/good, 31% only fair, 10% poor) among Republicans. In fact, Bayh garners a 51% majority excellent/good rating from Trump voters.
This strong regard for his performance translates into a strong lead over Republican Congressman Todd Young in the initial trial heat: 54% Bayh, 33% Young, 13% Undecided. While Bayh’s support stems in some degree from his name recognition advantage (still an impressive 82% despite not having run a campaign in more than a decade compared to 54% for Young), Bayh maintains a strong double-digit lead among voters who know BOTH candidates: 55% Bayh, 39% Young.
Interestingly, the undecided vote in the Senate race appears up for grabs to BOTH candidates, including Evan Bayh. For example, President Obama’s job approval is 45%-44% among undecided voters, Hillary Clinton trails Donald Trump by just 5%, and Bayh only has 54% name recognition, indicating he has a chance to gain their support once he campaigns.
In summary, Evan Bayh starts the 2016 campaign well-regarded by a broad swath of Hoosier voters and has a strong 54%-33% lead with the potential to GROW his support.