The latest poll confirms what the level of advertising suggests: Indiana’s Senate race is close.
The numbers suggest incumbent Joe Donnelly (D) is at 41% with challenger Mike Braun (R) at 40%.
The margin of error is 4.6%.
Purdue Fort Wayne political science professor Mike Wolf took a deeper look at the poll released this week by the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.
Voters in both parties are energized but by different issues – Republicans by immigration and Democrats by health care.
Meanwhile, Libertarian Lucy Brenton had 8% of the vote – pulling support from both major party candidates – and is poised to play the role of spoiler.
“We don’t know quite yet what kind of role she is going to play here, depending on how she does in these debates,” said Wolf.
But Donnelly and Braun would need to be cautious going after Brenton in the next debate because a misstep could alienate their own supporters.
The next Senate debate is scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, at 7 p.m. and will be carried live on wane.com.
Wolf also discussed the relatively mild tone of the advertising in the 3rd District Congressional race between incumbent Jim Banks (R) and challenger Courtney Tritch (D).
On November 2, WANE-TV, Your Local Election Headquarters, will host a debate between Tritch and Banks in studio at 7 p.m. moderated by Terra Brantley and Dirk Rowley.
Dr. Wolf will join WANE-TV every Tuesday at 6 p.m. to provide additional local coverage and analysis.
Michael R. Wolf specializes in American Politics, Congress, Voting Behavior, and Comparative Electoral Behavior. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2002.
The Mike Downs Center is located on the campus of Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW).