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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 25, 2018 12:10 pm

Voter approval of Hoosier U.S. senators falls in poll

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Hoosiers apparently liked their two U.S. senators less at the end of 2017 than they did at the beginning of the year, according to a national pollster. 

Morning Consult reported this week that the net approval ratings for Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly and Republican Sen. Todd Young fell by 6 points and 9 points, respectively, during the year.

Donnelly's dip was part of a trend: Morning Consult said net approval ratings fell during 2017 for nine of 10 Democratic senators up for re-election this year in states won by President Donald Trump in 2016. The firm noted that those senators "have faced attacks on the airwaves and online from their Republican challengers, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and outside conservative groups.

Morning Consult polled more than 253,000 registered voters nationwide.

Its latest survey showed 44 percent of registered voters in Indiana approved of Donnelly, and 30 percent disapproved, giving him a 14-point net approval. The rest of those polled – 27 percent – had no opinion. Donnelly had a 20-point net approval in the first quarter, when 46 percent of voters approved of him, 26 percent disapproved, and 28 percent had no opinion.

Young, who doesn't stand for re-election until 2022, also had a 14-point net approval in the fourth quarter. Morning Consult found that 42 percent of voters approved of him, 28 percent disapproved, and 30 percent had no opinion. His net approval fell by 9 points from the first quarter.

Indiana and New York were the only states whose senators had identical net approval ratings in the fourth quarter. In several states, senators' net approval ratings were only 1 point apart. But Indiana is the only one of those states where one senator is a Democrat and the other a Republican.