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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Prez Contest Tightens; Bayh Maintains Senate Edge

Friday, October 14, 2016

Democrat pulls ahead in governor’s race

West Long Branch, NJ  - Indiana was never supposed to be competitive, even before Donald Trump tapped its governor as his running mate.  The latest Monmouth University Poll throws those expectations out the window.  Trump currently leads Hillary Clinton by a slim 4 points, down from his 11 point lead in August, while Mike Pence's approval rating as governor has dropped among Hoosier State voters.  The poll also finds Evan Bayh is weathering attacks and holds onto a 6 point lead in the U.S. Senate contest.  Despite all the tumult at the top of the ticket, the race for governor has been the one experiencing the most movement, going from a virtual tie two months ago to a 12 point advantage for Democratic nominee John Gregg now.

Among Indiana voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 45% currently support Trump and 41% back Clinton.  Another 9% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 5% are undecided.  Trump held a larger 47% to 36% lead in mid-August.

Trump is doing as well among Indiana voters without a college degree (53% to 33% for Clinton) as he did two months ago (54% to 33%).  However, he now has a deficit among college graduates, with 36% support to 50% for Clinton now compared to a virtual tie in August (39% Trump and 40% Clinton).

Trump has also lost ground among women, now trailing Clinton by 38% to 47% while they were practically tied two months ago (44% Trump and 43% Clinton).  He continues to have a large lead among men - 52% to 34% now compared with 51% to 29% in August.

In poll interviews conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, Trump held a 45% to 38% lead over Clinton.  In interviews conducted Thursday evening, after allegations of sexual misconduct by the GOP nominee emerged, Clinton held a narrow edge of 46% to 44% over Trump.

"Trump's support in his running mate's home state was already eroding before the latest bombshell hit.  The news that broke Wednesday seems to have driven those numbers even lower," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Just 31% of Indiana voters have a favorable view of Trump with 58% holding an unfavorable opinion of him.  His August rating was 33% favorable and 54% unfavorable.  Clinton's rating is similar at 30% favorable and 59% unfavorable, which is slightly better than her 28% favorable and 62% unfavorable rating two months ago.  A key differentiating factor, though, is that most Indiana voters (54%) feel Clinton has the right temperament to be president, but only 33% say the same about Trump.

Nearly all Indiana voters are aware of the graphic recording of Trump that was released last Friday, including 61% who have watched or listened to it and another 32% who have read or heard about its contents.  Over 2-in-3 voters (69%) say they were not really surprised by what they heard come out of Trump's mouth.  Only 4% say they were shocked and 18% say they were surprised but not shocked.  About 1-in-3 voters (32%) feel what Trump said in that tape makes him unfit for office while 56% say his words were inappropriate but not necessarily disqualifying.  Six percent are not familiar with the recording.

The Monmouth University Poll  also found that Pence's approval rating has taken a hit, although most voters don't necessarily point to his presence on the GOP ticket as the main reason for the drop.  Currently, 47% approve and 44% disapprove of the job Pence is doing as governor.  He enjoyed a stronger 54% approve and 35% disapprove rating two months ago.  A majority (57%) of Hoosiers say that agreeing to be Trump's running mate has not affected their opinion of Pence, although 25% say they now think less highly of him and 16% think more highly of him.  Few voters (22%) say that Pence should withdraw as the GOP vice presidential nominee while two-thirds (68%) say he should not.

Turning to the race to succeed retiring Republican U.S. Senator Dan Coats, former senator Evan Bayh holds a 48% to 42% lead over Congressman Todd Young.  This is basically unchanged from the Democrat's 48% to 41% lead in August.  Libertarian Lucy Brenton garners 6% of the vote and 4% are undecided.  While 74% of Trump supporters are backing Young, 18% say they will split their ticket and vote for Bayh.  Among Clinton supporters, 87% will vote for Bayh and just 7% will split their ticket for Young.

"Given the large amount of ticket splitting, it appears that some voters are actually voting more for Pence than Trump at the top of the ballot," said Murray.

The poll found that Bayh appears to have suffered limited damage from criticisms of his activities since leaving the Senate in 2011, including the amount of time he has spent out of state.  Four-in-ten Indiana voters (40%) have a favorable view of the Democrat and 26% have an unfavorable view, which is slightly worse than his 46% favorable and 19% unfavorable rating in August.  Young is not as well-known, with a rating of 27% favorable and 19% unfavorable, which is virtually unchanged from his prior rating of 29% favorable and 15% unfavorable.

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 (50%, up from 42% in August) rather than a desire to serve the public (27%, compared with 31% in August).  When asked whether each candidate is in touch with the people of Indiana, 41% say this is true of Bayh and 39% say it is not.  A similar 37% say it is true of Young while only 29% say it is not.

Young has endorsed Trump for president.  Half of voters (50%) do not have an opinion of the senate candidate's support one way or the other.  Of the remainder, 15% say Young has been too supportive of Trump, 9% say he has not been supportive enough, and 26% say he has given the right amount of support.

The poll also finds a major shift in the race to succeed Pence as governor.  His 2012 opponent John Gregg is currently leading Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb by a 50% to 38% margin.  Another 4% support Libertarian Rex Bell and 7% are undecided.  This race was virtually tied in August at 42% for Holcomb and 41% for Gregg.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from October 11 to 13, 2016 with 402 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 ]

45%     Donald Trump

41%     Hillary Clinton

  9%     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 ]

42%     Todd Young

48%     Evan Bayh

  6%     Lucy Brenton

  4%     (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 ]

38%     Eric Holcomb

50%     John Gregg

  4%     Rex Bell

<1%     (VOL) Other candidate

  7%     (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?  

31%     Favorable

58%     Unfavorable

11%     No opinion

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

30%     Favorable

59%     Unfavorable

10%     No opinion


7.      Regardless of whether you would vote for him, do you think Donald Trump does or does not have the right temperament to be president?

33%     Does

61%     Does not

  6%     (VOL) Don't know

8.      Regardless of whether you would vote for her, do you think Hillary Clinton does or does not have the right temperament to be president?

54%     Does

42%     Does not

  4%     (VOL) Don't know

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

47%     Approve

44%     Disapprove

  9%     (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?

16%     More highly

25%     Less highly

57%     No impact

  2%     (VOL) Don't know

11.    Do you think Mike Pence should withdraw from the Republican ticket or not?

22%     Should

68%     Should not

11%     (VOL) Don't know

12.    A recording of Trump talking about some of his sexual encounters emerged on Friday.  Have you heard about this or not?  [ IF HEARD :   Have you watched or listened to the actual recording or did you just hear or read reports about what he said?]

61%     Watched/listened to actual recording

32%     Heard/read reports about it

  6%     Not aware of recording

13.    Does what Trump said on this recording make him unfit for office or is what he said inappropriate but it does not necessarily make him unfit for office?

32%     Makes him unfit for office

56%     Inappropriate but not necessarily unfit

  4%     (VOL) Neither

  3%     (VOL) Don't know

  6%     Not aware of recording

14.    Would you describe your reaction to Trump saying these things as shocked, surprised but not shocked, or not really surprised?

  4%     Shocked

18%     Surprised but not shocked

69%     Not really surprised

  3%     (VOL) Don't know

  6%     Not aware of recording

Turning to the Senate race…


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

27%     Favorable

19%     Unfavorable

54%     No opinion

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

40%     Favorable

26%     Unfavorable

34%     No opinion


17.    Do you think Todd Young is or is not in touch with the people of Indiana? 

37%     Is in touch

29%     Is not in touch

34%     (VOL) Don't know

18.    Do you think Evan Bayh is or is not in touch with the people of Indiana? 

41%     Is in touch

39%     Is not in touch

20%     (VOL) Don't know

19.    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 ]

27%     More to serve the public

50%     More because he wanted to get back into politics

  4%     (VOL) Both

19%     (VOL) Don't know

20.    Is Todd Young too supportive of Donald Trump, not supportive enough, or does he give the right amount of support to Trump?

15%     Too supportive

  9%     Not supportive enough

26%     Right amount of support

50%     (VOL) Don't know


The Monmouth University Poll  was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 11 to 13, 2016 with a random sample of 402 likely Indiana voters.  Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 352 drawn from a list of registered voters (201 landline / 151 cell phone) and a random digit dial supplement of 50 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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