IN-Gov: Mitch "Governor Privatize" Daniels Vulnerable
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 07:45:51 AM EDT
It doesn't come as a terrible shock. An unpopular Republican Governor who makes unpopular decisions is polling well below 50 percent even in one of the most reliably Republican states in the nation. Such is the situation for former Bushie and current Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.
[W]hen asked if they would vote to re-elect Daniels if the election were held today, nearly as many said they would vote to replace him (37 percent) as to re-elect him (39 percent). That difference was within the poll's margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. Another 21 percent said they would consider voting for another candidate, while 3 percent were not sure.
In a hypothetical race between Daniels and [former Democratic Rep. Jill Long] Thompson, the poll found Daniels leading Thompson 46 percent to 38 percent, with 16 percent undecided.
The statewide telephone poll of 800 people who vote regularly in state elections was conducted Sept. 10-14 by Maryland-based Research 2000. It has an overall margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Indiana may be a relatively conservative state, but that doesn't necessarily mean that its residents want their leader to be known as "Governor Privatize," a nickname he has earned by showing a stronger allegiance to big corporations than to his constituents. Case in point: the Indiana Toll Road, which Daniels privatized against the loud outcry of
Indianans Hoosiers (regardless of the state's conservatism, voters don't like to see state property handed out to well-connected corporations). It's no wonder, then, that the Republicans lost their majority in the state House last fall.
These numbers show that Daniels is very beatable. The Democrats aren't there yet, but Daniels can indeed be beaten. The Cook Political Report (.pdf) and the Rothenberg Political Report give Daniels a slight advantage at this point, and I feel fairly comfortable giving this race a similar rating. So this is definitely a race to watch as this cycle moves on.