I’ve always wanted a crystal ball that can predict the future, and now I have one. It’s called the Hoosier Pulse, a brand new survey of Indiana’s political and policy opinion leaders put together by Hathaway Strategies, the firm I work for, and Bellwether Research, a polling outfit run by Hoosier native Christine Matthews.
We asked respondents — Republicans, Democrats and independents from all corners of the state — to give us their sense of who will win the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries in Indiana, the Republican U.S. Senate primary and the general election rematch between Mike Pence and John Gregg in November. What did we find?
Sixty-three percent of all respondents, and only 49 percent of Republicans, said Donald Trump will win Indiana’s at-large delegates Tuesday. A word of caution about both of those numbers, however: The survey was conducted before the political world was blown apart with news that John Kasich, a client of my firm, would cease active campaigning in Indiana.
Could this knowledge have changed minds? Sadly, we’ll never know.
But while that news is potentially good for Trump, our survey participants expect him to lose Indiana to Hillary Clinton in a general election. Ted Cruz and Kasich, on the other hand, would be positioned to win the state, with Kasich having the best shot of the two (87 percent say he would win compared to 62 percent for Cruz).
On the Democrat side, Hoosier politicos aren’t buying the hype of Bernie Sanders and believe Clinton will easily dispatch her socialist rival in the state. That means, if some analysts are correct, Clinton could effectively clinch the Democratic Party nomination Tuesday night. Wouldn’t that be something?
In the U.S. Senate race, both Todd Young and Marlin Stutzman have been beating each other up on the airwaves and repeating their well-worn talking points in interviews leaving many to believe the race was relatively close.
So I was surprised 82 percent of Hoosier Pulse respondents said Young will win the Republican nomination. If correct, this would be the second time Stutzman has lost his shot at being the general election candidate for U.S. Senate.
The number that should be giving both Republicans and Democrats heartburn, however, is what we heard on the governor’s race. Fifty-one percent believe Mike Pence will be re-elected, and 49 percent think John Gregg will win. These numbers are largely driven by partisanship as eight in 10 Republicans give the edge to Pence, and 96 percent of Democrats think their candidate will win. So while that doesn’t tell you much, rest assured this will be a costly, divisive and close race.
Will these insiders be right? It depends on your vote.