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Messer Internal Poll Says GOP Senate Primary is a Toss Up


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Supporters of U.S. Senate Republican candidate Luke Messer say the race is wide open, despite the fact their top rival, Todd Rokita, was a former statewide office holder.

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Messer Internal Poll Says GOP Senate Primary is a Toss Up

  1. 1. MEMORANDUM To: Interested Parties From: Wes Anderson & Kayla Dunlap Date: July 19, 2017 Re: Indiana Statewide Survey KEY FINDINGS Below are several highlights from our recent Indiana statewide survey conducted for Congressman Luke Messer. This survey of 400 likely Republican primary voters was fielded July 10th through the 12th and was stratified to reflect historic voting trends. President Trump In case it was ever in question, President Trump remains extremely popular among GOP primary voters as 82% say they have a favorable opinion of him while only 15% say they have an unfavorable opinion. More importantly perhaps is the fact that nearly 6 in 10 (57%) say they are “very” favorable of the President. Trump’s job approval is equally as strong at 83/13 approve. 2018 Senate Race For both Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, the story on image is one of lack of definition. Messer currently sits +16 at 22% favorable to 6% unfavorable while Rokita is +24 at 31/7 favorable. From a geographical perspective, given Rokita’s past run as Secretary of State, one would expect him to have a bigger statewide presence, especially in the Indianapolis Market, but that’s simply not the case as his positives only outperform Messer’s in the Indianapolis Market by 7 points. This leaves Messer and Rokita tied at 23% on 7-way primary ballot while the other 5 candidates fail to break 10% combined. On the two way ballot, Messer edges out Rokita by 1 point, 27-26 respectively. Image Ratings Luke Messer Todd Rokita Favorable 22% 31% Unfavorable 6% 7% Ballot Test Messer Rokita Henderson Hurt Takami Hill Braun Undecided 23% 23% 1% 1% 1% 4% 2% 45% Ballot Test Messer Rokita Undecided 27% 26% 48% Rokita’s Attacks In response to Rokita’s recent personal attacks on Messer, we decided to throw a few questions on to measure their impact. In short, the Rokita attacks simply fail to sway Indiana’s GOP primary electorate. In fact, if he’s not careful, they could come back to bite him. In a head to head on Messer’s decision to move his family to Washington DC, 80% backed Messer saying that children deserve a “full-time father” who lives in the same house while only 9% said it made him too much of an “insider.” Additionally, when they were asked about the attack on Messer’s wife, 57% said that it is unfair to attack her for her legal career just because her husband is in Congress while only 30% believed the attack was fair.
  2. 2. Conclusion Bottom line, the primary is a jump-ball. While the data suggests it’s likely to be a dog fight, it also suggests that Todd Rokita’s early personal attacks on Luke Messer and his family are very likely to backfire among Indiana’s primary electorate. METHODOLOGY The following statewide survey was conducted by OnMessage Inc. in Indiana. Telephone interviews were conducted on July 10-12, 2017. This survey consists of 400 likely GOP primary voters and was stratified to reflect historic voter trends. The margin of error is +/-4.90% ABOUT US Wes Anderson is a leading GOP pollster with 20 years of experience in opinion research. As a founding partner, Wes now leads the polling divisions of OnMessage Inc. and OnMessage Sports, providing political and corporate clients with a full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative opinion research products. You can read more about Wes Anderson at