What is likely the first substantive poll on the U.S. Senate race in Indiana since this month’s primary election shows the Republican challenger, Mike Braun, and incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly in a virtual dead heat.
The poll, conducted over six days by Gravis Marketing, asked 400 likely Indiana voters whether they would vote for Braun or Donnelly if the general election took place today.
The results: 45 percent chose Braun; 44 percent selected Donnelly. Another 11 percent said they were undecided.
The margin of error in the poll was 4.9 percent.
Donnelly’s reelection has been generally cited as one of the two or three toughest involving Senate incumbents this year. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and has amassed a sizable campaign war chest.
Braun, a former state lawmaker and successful businessman, spent millions of dollars to secure his nomination, but figures to receive a new influx of support both in direct contributions and from political action committees representing conservative views.
The same Gravis poll asked Hoosiers for their views on President Donald Trump, who has already appeared in Indiana on Braun’s behalf.
Among likely voters, 25 percent expressed strongly favorable views; 19 percent somewhat favorable; 12 percent somewhat unfavorable; 39 percent strongly unfavorable; and 5 percent were uncertain.
Gravis Marketing describes itself as a non-partisan firm, though some analysts, including 538.com, note a slight Republican tilt in its polling data.