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Monmouth University Polling Institute


Ticket Splitting Has Trump in Lead but Bayh With Senate Edge

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tight race to succeed Pence as governor

West Long Branch, NJ  - Donald Trump holds an 11 point lead over Hillary Clinton in Indiana, the home state of GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.  Enough voters, though, may be planning to split their ticket to send Evan Bayh back to the Senate after a six year absence.  The Monmouth University Poll  also finds the race to succeed Pence in the State House is neck and neck.

Among Indiana voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 47% currently support Trump and 36% back Clinton.  Another 10% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, with 5% who are undecided.  About the same number of Republicans back Trump (84%) as Democrats who back Clinton (87%).  Independents are divided at 38% for Trump and 34% for Clinton, with 18% supporting Johnson.

Barack Obama eked out a razor thin win here in 2008, but Mitt Romney scored a 10 point victory four years later.  Trump is doing better than Romney did among Indiana voters without a college degree (54% to 33% compared to Romney's 53%-45% margin), but is doing worse among college graduates (39% to 40% for Clinton compared to Romney's 55%-43% win over Obama).

"Pence is likely boosting the GOP ticket's prospects here, as Indiana voters really don't like either of the two presidential nominees.  In fact, their favorability ratings are among the lowest the Monmouth University Poll has found anywhere we've polled," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. 

Just 33% of Indiana voters have a favorable view of Trump with 54% holding an unfavorable opinion of him.  Clinton's ratings are slightly worse at 28% favorable and 62% unfavorable.  On the other hand, most voters (54%) approve of the job Pence is currently doing as governor and just 35% disapprove.  A majority (58%) also say that agreeing to be Trump's running mate has not affected their opinion of Pence, although 23% say they now think less highly of him and 17% think more highly of him.

Turning to the race to succeed retiring Republican U.S. Senator Dan Coats, former senator Bayh holds a 48% to 41% lead over Congressman Todd Young.  Libertarian Lucy Brenton garners 4% of the vote and 7% are undecided.  While 76% of Trump supporters are backing Young, 16% say they will split their ticket and vote for Bayh.  Among Clinton supporters, 89% will vote for Bayh and just 3% will split their ticket for Young.

"If Bayh can hold on, this will be a crucial pick-up in the Democrats' effort to retake the Senate," said Murray.

Nearly half of Indiana voters (46%) have a favorable view of Bayh and just 19% have an unfavorable view, with 35% expressing no opinion.  Young is not as well-known, with a rating of 29% favorable and 15% unfavorable while 55% register no opinion of him.

There have been some questions about Bayh's last minute decision to run for his old senate seat.  Indiana voters are more likely to see this move as Bayh just wanting to get back into politics (42%) rather than a desire to serve the public (31%).  Another 4% see it as both motivations equally and 23% have no opinion.

The race to succeed Pence as governor is currently the closest of the three statewide races polled by Monmouth in Indiana.  Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb (42%) is virtually tied with former legislator and 2012 gubernatorial candidate John Gregg (41%).  Another 4% support Libertarian Rex Bell and 13% are undecided.

"Gregg was involved in one of the closest governor's races in Indiana history when he faced off against Pence four years ago.  This one could be even closer," said Murray.

Indiana voters face an interesting election this year in that two of the four major party nominees for governor (Holcomb) and senate (Bayh) were actually chosen after the primary winners withdrew from those races.  Nearly 6-in-10 voters say that having these nominees chosen by party committee rather than the voters bothers them, including 31% who are bothered a lot by this and 26% who are bothered a little.  Another 40% say the candidate "switcheroos" do not really bother them.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from August 13 to 16 2016 with 403 Indiana residents likely to vote in the November election.  This sample has a margin of error of + 4.9 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.


QUESTIONS AND RESULTS                                                               

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)         


1/2.   If the election for President was today, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican, Hillary Clinton the Democrat, or Gary Johnson the Libertarian? [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]


47%     Donald Trump

36%     Hillary Clinton

10%     Gary Johnson

  1%     (VOL) Other candidate

  5%     (VOL) Undecided


3.      If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Todd Young the Republican, Evan Bayh the Democrat, or Lucy Brenton the Libertarian?  [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Todd Young or Evan Bayh?]   [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]


41%     Todd Young

48%     Evan Bayh

4%     Lucy Brenton

7%     (VOL) Undecided


4.      If the election for Governor was today, would you vote for Eric Holcomb the Republican, John Gregg the Democrat, or Rex Bell the Libertarian?  [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Eric Holcomb or John Gregg?]    [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]


42%     Eric Holcomb

41%     John Gregg

4%     Rex Bell

13%     (VOL) Undecided


Regardless of who you may support for president…


5.      Is your general impression of Donald Trump favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  


33%     Favorable

54%     Unfavorable

13%     No opinion


6.      Is your general impression of Hillary Clinton favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?  


28%     Favorable

62%     Unfavorable

10%     No opinion



7.      Who do you trust more to handle the economy and jobs - Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]


53%     Trump

41%     Clinton

  4%     (VOL) Neither

  2%     (VOL) Don't know


8.      Who do you trust more to handle the threat of terrorism on U.S. soil -   Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]


50%     Trump

40%     Clinton

  8%     (VOL) Neither

  3%     (VOL) Don't know


9.      Do you approve or disapprove of the job Mike Pence is doing as governor?


54%     Approve

35%     Disapprove

11%     (VOL) No opinion


10.    Does agreeing to be Trump's running mate make you think more highly or less highly of Mike Pence personally, or does it have no impact on your opinion of him?


17%     More highly

23%     Less highly

58%     No impact

  2%     (VOL) Don't know


Turning to the Senate race…


11.    Is your general impression of Todd Young favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  


29%     Favorable

15%     Unfavorable

55%     No opinion


12.    Is your general impression of Evan Bayh favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  


46%     Favorable

19%     Unfavorable

35%     No opinion


13.    Do you think the reason Evan Bayh decided to run for the Senate again is more to serve the public or more because he just wanted to get back into politics?  [ CHOICES WERE ROTATED ]

31%     More to serve the public

42%     More because he wanted to get back into politics

  4%     (VOL) Both

23%     (VOL) Don't know


14.    The Democratic nominee for Senate and the Republican nominee for governor were chosen by party committees rather than the voters.  Does this bother you or not bother you?  [ IF BOTHER:  Does it bother you a lot or just a little?]


31%     Yes, bothers a lot

26%     Yes, bothers a little

40%     No, does not bother

  2%     (VOL) Don't know



The Monmouth University Poll  was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from August 13 to 16, 2016 with a random sample of 403 likely Indiana voters.  Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 351 drawn from a list of registered voters (201 landline / 150 cell phone) and a random digit dial supplement of 52 cell phone interviews.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The final sample is weighted for age, gender, race and voting history based on voter list and U.S. Census information.  Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field), Aristotle (voter list sample), and SSI (RDD sample).  For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design).  Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below).  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.   

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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Monmouth University Poll

West Long Branch, NJ 07764
Follow on Twitter: @MonmouthPoll

Patrick Murray

732-263-5858 (office)
Follow on Twitter: @PollsterPatrick

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