Just a day after former senator Dan Coats announced his entrance into the Indiana Senate race, a poll shows that he has a lot of ground to make up before he can call himself a “current senator”. Incumbent Democrat Evan Bayh, who enjoys a 61% approval rating in the state, leads Coats by 20 points. If the race were held today, Bayh would win 55% of the vote to Coats’ 35%. Bayh does particularly well in Democratic strongholds of Indianapolis and Northwest Indiana – garnering 68% in both.
Research 2000 also polled President Obama. Barack Obama was the first Democrat to win Indiana since Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide victory. Despite a dip in support, the president is doing surprisingly well in this traditionally Republican state. His approval rating stands at 46%, only a few points below the national average of 50%, with 49% disapproving. While there is certainly room for improvement, he has a good chance of winning Indiana again in 2012 as the economy improves (and his approval rating with it).