Although former Sen. Dan Coats (R) gets most of the national media attention in the race to replace retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D) in Indiana, this Daily Kos/Research 2000 survey is actually the latest poll to show former Rep. John Hostettler (R) running better against the Democrats. Hostettler leads Rep. Brad Ellsworth by 6 points while Coats is up by 1; Hostettler leads Rep. Baron Hill by 6 points while Hill and Coats are tied.
An earlier Rasmussen poll showed Hostettler up 19 points against Ellsworth while Coats was up by 14 (Rasmussen and Research 2000 make radically different assumptions about who will turn out). And an earlier Rasmussen survey showed Hostettler running only slightly behind Mike Pence in match-ups against Bayh himself.
What I haven’t seen is any poll of the Republican primary. Hostettler’s better numbers in the general could reflect his being a more recent elected official than Coats (Hostettler lost to Ellsworth in 2006), or his position on the Iraq war could be causing him to win over people who don’t usually vote Republican. It would be interesting to see what the GOP primary electorate thinks of all this. State Sen. Marlin Stutzman is also in the race and is expected to be a factor. I predicted Hostettler wouldn’t be a pushover in the general election on the main site.