Former GOP Sen. Dan Coats, who represented Indiana from 1989 to 1999, holds double-digit leads over rivals both in the race for the Republican senatorial nomination and the general election contest, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted April 22-26 for the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.
As Tuesday's primary nears, Coats had support of 36 percent of likely voters, followed by former Rep. John Hostettler at 24 percent and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman at 18 percent, with two other candidates in single digits and 13 percent undecided. The margin of error is 5 points.
Stutzman has been endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund which, like the Tea Party movement, has backed anti-establishment conservatives. Still, Coats outpolls Stutzman 34 percent to 20 percent among those with a favorable view of the Tea Party movement, and by 30 percent to 23 percent among those who say they identify with the movement.
For the general election, Coats leads Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth 47 percent to 31 percent with 22 percent undecided. Hostettler also leads Ellsworth 45 percent to 32 percent with 23 percent undecided, as does Stutzman, by 41 percent to 35 percent with 25 percent undecided.
The race is for the seat now held by Democrat Evan Bayh, who chose not to seek re-election.