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Poll Dance: Survey Says State On Wrong Track, Guv In Serious Trouble

Danielsinangola If the surprise upset in the Indianapolis mayoral election earlier this month didn't make the Guv nervous, these latest poll numbers from the Indy Star/WTHR certainly should:

"Half of Hoosiers likely to vote in next year's election disapprove of Gov. Mitch Daniels' performance, and the two Democrats vying for Daniels' job have at least as much voter support as he does, according to a new Indianapolis Star-WTHR (Channel 13) poll.

"Rising property taxes, their personal finances, the lease of the Indiana Toll Road and the state's switch to daylight saving time all contributed to Daniels' disapproval rate, the poll of 600 Hoosiers found.

"If the election were held today, former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson and Indianapolis architect Jim Schellinger could edge Daniels out, the poll found.

"Of the 449 people surveyed who said they were likely to vote in the 2008 election, 44 percent said they would back Thompson if their choice was between Thompson and Daniels, while the governor received support from 43 percent of those surveyed.

"In a match-up between Schellinger and Daniels, Schellinger was ahead 44 percent to 40 percent.

"The margin of error on the ballot choices was plus or minus 4.6 percentage points, while the margin of error on other poll questions, including Daniels' approval rating, was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

"Daniels was elected in 2004, winning 53 percent of the vote over Democratic Gov. Joe Kernan. By March 2005, a poll taken for The Star showed 55 percent of voters approved of the job Daniels was doing.

"But after a series of controversial issues -- including pushing for daylight saving time and leasing the Toll Road -- those numbers plummeted. A poll taken for The Star in March 2006 showed that 37 percent approved of the job Daniels was doing.

"J. Ann Selzer, whose Iowa-based public opinion research firm Selzer & Co. conducted the new poll between Nov. 13-16, called Daniels' current 40 percent approval rating 'dismal,' reflecting the 'sour' mood of the state."

Yes, we're a year out.

Yes, the Guv hasn't spent any of his considerable war chest redefining himself -- and beating up his opponent.

Yes, a lot can still happen.

But damn. Things aren't looking good for His Mitchiness, and it sure will be interesting to see the cross-tabs on this set of numbers.


Maybe we are finally at that spot where every four years we vote someone new in. At least that way they don't have eight years to screw us over.

My guess is that if Mitch and fix the property tax situation, his poll numbers could really jump. When he starts showing commercials of the multi-million dollar school buildings Schellinger helped build, then saying how he had to fix a Schellinger created property tax problem, that could hurt Schellinger and help Thompson.

But when does Mitch start thsoe commercials?

If he doesn't start them before May, the Dem primary is still wide-open. And Jill might have to run those kinds of commercials. Which could backfire.

Because the ugly little secret is--whether you argee or disagree--school construction is going to be one of the fall guys for this property tax mess. And Jim S.'s firm is Poster Boy No.1 for that scenario.

One year is an eternity in politics. One year ago, Bart Peterson had a 75% approval rating.

The news this morning confirms that Democrats will not settle for Schellinger or Long-Thompson. Someone else is waiting in the wings to displace them in a repeat of the 2004 Democratic nomination scenario.

The poll today will send the Democrats into a frenzy and they will look for a viable candidate to replace the minor leaguers currently running on their ticket, just as they did in 2004 when they dumped Simon and Andrew.

I'm confused by your logic, 8:07 and 8:10. Both Democratic candidates are beating the Guv right now. The person who ought to be in a frenzy over these numbers ain't on my side of the aisle.

Before we Democrats get all excited about this poll, some caution. I read and re-read the story and what's telling is what is missing. There are five distinct areas of this state, similar, yet dissimilar. Lake County. The South Bend Area. The Ft. Wayne Area. The Indianapolis TV market (Central Indiana). Southern Indiana. The Star/13 poll gives no indication how many respondents were surveyed in each area and what the numbers are. In some areas of the state, the property tax crisis doesn't exist. In other places, like Marion County, its a big deal. In the Toll Road counties, privatization is a big deal. In other places no. DST is big in some places but not others. The Star/13 poll gives no indication how the sample is geographically spread. Much less the breakdown in ages, gender and race. Remember, this is the same poll that said Peterson was ahead by 2%, no wait make that 4%, and then Ballard won by 3%. The Star/13 pollsters should have provided more detail (if only on their website). They didn't. And this poll should be examined with a skeptical eye.

My guess is that WTHR will have the breakdown up on their site today. They almost always post that information.


They didn't release the breakdown of the respondents on Friday and they have yet to even release the breakdown this morning. You'd think with the ethical questions raised with their last poll, they would have provided more detail on their website this time.

Kudos to 8:35, a Democrat, from a Republican on great points made about the problems with this poll. Still, no matter the Demo candidate, it will be a long battle and a tight race to the wire.

You seem keen on the conspiracy theory stuff, but my guess is that the local outlets are busy with the Julia Carson story.

And last week was Thanksgiving.

I don't recall that Ballard poll raising any ethical questions. The size of the African-American sample came under scrutiny, but the data were revised.

Polls are snapshots in time. Instead of picking this one to pieces, as hacks are wont to do when they don't like the result, I'd probably focus on what it means for the next year on the campaign trail.

The flap with the last Star/13 poll should have both parties demanding public release of the demographics and geography of the poll's respondents. The media demands accountability from politicians and parties. It's time politicians, parties and the public demand accountability from media's public political polls. You are right a poll is a snapshot in time. But we have the right to know what type of camera was used. Film or digital. Simple point and shoot or SLR. How about it TDW. Will you and your GOP counterpart demand accountability from media's polls??

Polls. The facile resemblance to "pol" is appropriate. Quit taking polls so seriously. Most of them aren't worth the money spent on them.

Insiders would do much better to get off their desk chairs and get out to talk to the people themselves to get a good idea what the mood is out there.

I guess I'm not going to get my knickers in a knot over someone else's poll. You get more flies with sugar than salt, as they say, and I don't see any reason to think there's anything wrong with this particular survey.

For what it's worth, I don't have a GOP counterpart right now.

Jen, I'm a Republican, and I ordinarily hate your Party and its God-forsaken Liberals.

That said, Mitch is awful, a disaster, a blight on Indiana who will move back to D.C. the day he no longer has a princley job here.

Your two candidates for Governor are unelectable. Would you please tell your bosses that they need to find a good Downstate male Democrat who looks good in a suit, is at least 6' tall, speaks well, smiles a lot and enjoys shooting?

If you find such a person, you'll crush Mitch.

If you don't I must ask you why your Party insists on shoving unelectable garbage down the independent-minded voter's throats?

Let's draft Joe Kernan, or Kathy Davis, for that matter. They'd whip Mitch for sure.

After 16 years of bad management, Governor Daniels has had to make some tough decisions. When tough decisions are made, invariably, some will be hurt by those decisions. The people up North need to quit crying. When Daniels took over, the state was six months from bankruptcy. The income from the toll road deal would have taken 50 years to earn from tolls. Grow up, people. He's doing what is best for the STATE.

this poll is great news for Jim Schellinger and for those who want to call him a backbencher, well Greg Ballard in now the mayor elect in Indianapolis. Mitch Daniels is not popular, and some of it has to do with the last post, arrogance...hey people quit crying...wow if R's keep up that attitude they will lose for sure. As for Jill Long Thompson, who has been running for office in Indiana since 1986, three different decades...the fact that she is polling behind Schellinger at this point when neither has run an add says for sure that Schellinger is the best poised to beat Mitch. It is too late for someone else to emerge.

I am no big fan of businemen turned politicians, but I think what this poll shows is that be it Mitch or Jill, having been a politician is not the job voters want you to have when running next year. Jim is well positioned.

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