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Mourdock, Donnelly in virtual tie in race for Lugar's Senate seat

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The U.S. Senate race in Indiana between Rep. Joe Donnelly, Indiana Democrat, and Republican state treasurer Richard Mourdock is a statistical dead heat, according to a Rasmussen report poll released Friday.

The telephone survey has 42 percent of likely voters favoring Mr. Mourdock, 40 percent supporting Mr. Donnelly, and 3 percent preferring another candidate. Fifteen percent are still undecided.

The tea party-backed Mr. Mourdock felled longtime Sen. Richard “Dick” Lugar in the state’s May Republican primary and has worked feverishly to paint Mr. Donnelly as a champion of President Obama’s agenda. Mr. Donnelly, meanwhile, has been running in the mold of a consensus-builder, though he has certainly laid claim to ground outside the confines of his party.

A Blue Dog Democrat, he was one of 17 members of his party to vote to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt for failing to disclose documents on the botched “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation in response to a subpoena. Mr. Donnelly received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in the 2008 and 2010 elections.

He did vote for the 2009 economic stimulus package, the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, and Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul, but in a departure from the president, he recently called for a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels.

The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted from July 31 to Aug. 1 and has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

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