Political Notebook

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    The Indiana House has tapped leadership and committee chairs for the 2015 General Assembly.
Courtesy photo
For their final Halloween at the governor’s residence Gov. Mitch Daniels and first lady Cheri Daniels dressed as Sonny & Cher.

First couple host festive Halloween

Gov. Mitch Daniels and first lady Cheri Daniels spent their last Halloween at the governor’s residence masquerading as Sonny and Cher, hosting hundreds of trick-or-treaters for the final time.

The theme was “Legends of Rock and Roll,” and staff members also dressed as music icons, including Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb as Elvis.

Previous costume themes at the governor’s residence have been The Addams Family, The Wizard of Oz, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Indianapolis 500, the 1950s, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

The lucky kids received assorted candy provided by five Indiana businesses – chocolate bars from DeBrand Fine Chocolates of Fort Wayne; chocolate treats from Endangered Species Chocolate of Indianapolis; cherry candies from Good’s Candy Shop of Anderson; chocolate-dipped pretzel twists from Schimpff’s Confectionery of Jeffersonville; and fruit jells from Zachary Confections of Frankfort.

Not a good week

The fallout continues from U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s remark that pregnancy resulting from rape “is something that God intended to happen.”

Thursday, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a website run by Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, moved the Indiana Senate race from a “toss-up” between Mourdock and Donnelly to “leans Democratic.”

“Now, after Mourdock’s Akin-esque gaffe about abortion and rape, Donnelly’s numbers have gone up,” the website said.

Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for a Senate seat from Missouri, said in August that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” to prevent pregnancy.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball concludes that while Mourdock might still win “despite himself,” Donnelly “seems to us to be the favorite.”

Numbers abound

Indiana GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence released polling results Tuesday showing he has a lead of nine percentage points over Democrat John Gregg, 46 percent to 37 percent.

Libertarian Rupert Boneham received 5 percent, with 10 percent undecided or not answering.

It was in response to a Gregg poll released days before showing the race was tightening.

The memo from The Polling Company Inc. said Pence has led every private and public poll taken in the race since he declared his candidacy more than 500 days ago.

Pence’s support is wide and deep, including with women, and those surveyed indicated Pence was running a positive campaign.

The poll involved 1,200 likely voters over four nights last week. It has a margin of error of 5.6 percentage points.

By the end of the week a third poll entered the fray – a new Howey/DePauw University Battleground Poll.

The bipartisan poll is not affiliated with either campaign and showed Pence leading 47 percent to 40 percent in the final days.

The Howey/DePauw poll of 800 likely voters was taken Oct. 28-30 by Republican pollster Christine Matthews of Bellwether Research and Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang Research. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

“John Gregg is picking up support every single day. The Howey/DePauw poll indicates that every undecided voter who has chosen a candidate since the September Howey/DePauw poll is now supporting John, and that independents have moved from supporting Pence by 20 points to John winning them by 5,” said Rebecca Pearcey, Gregg’s campaign manager.

“The more voters hear about John’s plan to create jobs and strengthen the economy, the more they like him. Clearly, today’s poll shows that Pence’s support is stagnant.”

Donít forget to vote

Political Notebook writers are not involved in endorsements given by The Journal Gazette. But we do encourage everyone to vote and be part of the process.

Poll hours in Indiana on Tuesday are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check here for your polling location – www.indianavoters.in.gov.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.