Earlier this week, a conservative Indiana blog leaked what it says is a poll taken by one of the Republican Senate campaigns in Indiana. These numbers have been widely circulated over the past couple days because even though there has been ample polling that shows the frontrunning Republicans ahead of Democrat Brad Ellsworth in the race to succeed Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), there has been no public poll testing the Republican primary electorate.
The numbers obtained by Hoosier Advocate show former Sen. Dan Coats with 29 percent of the vote, former Rep. John Hostettler receiving 26 percent, state Sen. Marlin Stutzman at 18 percent, and Tea Party activists Don Bates, Jr. and Richard Beheny at 5 and 3 percent, respectively. Another 19 percent remain undecided. Obviously, this has to be read with the major caveat that the site isn’t disclosing either the pollster or the campaign that commissioned the poll. But if accurate, the survey from last week — with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent — shows a very tight race.
I’m hearing that Ron Paul is planning an endorsement of Hostettler, to be announced as early as tomorrow. Hostettler’s supporters have been touting the Hoosier Advocate numbers as evidence that their man is the leading challenger to Coats. More to follow.