INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The most surprising finding in a new Senate poll is the showing of Libertarian Andy Horning and it raises the possibility that Horning will play the role of spoiler in November. The Howey/DePauw poll shows Democrat Joe Donnelly ahead by just 2 percent. Horning is at 7 percent and, if Donnelly wins, the presence of Horning in the race could be a big reason why.
Four years ago Horning was on the ballot for governor, his second attempt at statewide office. He won about 3 percent of the vote. 24-Hour News 8 caught up with Horning by phone Friday in Ohio, where he called the poll results unexpected.
"I mean every election I've always polled higher, you know, early on than I have on Election day," said Horning. "This is better than I've ever seen before and the race is tighter.”
Pollster Christine Matthews tweeted that Horning's support is coming from Republicans, presumably Lugar Republicans unwilling to support Richard Mourdock. Mourdock still hopes to win them back.
"Since Labor Day we know that those Republicans who were certainly unhappy that Mr. Lugar was even challenged, those folks are coming our direction in big numbers," says Mourdock.
Meanwhile, Indiana Libertarian Executive Director Chris Spangle enjoys the attention directed at Horning.
"Absolutely it helps the party," says Spangle. "We have made a conscious effort to take advantage of this year."
Yet both Horning and Spangle don't agree that Horning might be a spoiler for Mourdock.
"This isn't their race." says Horning. "It's up to voters."
Horning does accept, however, that most of his support is coming from Republicans.
The possibility of a Libertarian spoiler is something that Democrat Joe Donnelly is familiar with. Two years ago Donnelly was re-elected to Congress in a race that he won by a little more than a percentage point. The Libertarian in that race received almost 5 percent of the vote.
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Kerry_Beard | September 29 2012 8:07pm
What people need to understand is that people voting Libertarian in the Senate race are NOT "Lugar Republicans." If they are former Republicans, it's because they didn't like either Lugar or Mourdock. The Republican Party continues to nominate candidates who represent more of the same. While there are clear differences between Lugar and Mourdock, Mourdock still is not representing the principles of those who have decided to vote Libertarian. So they are moving to the candidate who does represent their principles. If the Republican Party really wants to win elections, they need to figure this out.
DavidMcDougle | September 29 2012 7:25pm
Shame on Mr Horning for seeking to spoil the race for the status quo and standing up to be counted as a hope for a return of balance and true choice. As an additional comment I am not voting for Andy Horning because I am upset that Dick Lugar was defeated, of that I am glad. I do not believe that the Republican party leadership at the state and federal level care what those they are to represent want, just what they want.
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