The Washington Times - August 9, 2012, 12:28PM

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney appears to be well-positioned in Indiana, a state President Obama carried in 2008, but a new poll released by the campaign of Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly shows Mr. Donnelly in a statistical dead heat with tea-party-backed state Teasurer Richard Mourdock in their race for the seat of Sen. Richard G. Lugar, whom Mr. Mourdock felled in the GOP primary earlier this year.

Mr. Donnelly leads Mr. Mourdock by 41 percent to 40 percent in the poll conducted by the Democratic firm Global Strategy Group. Libertarian candidate Andrew Horning drew 4 percent of the vote, and the margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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“This poll shows Joe’s message of bipartisan, Hoosier common sense is resonating with voters across the political spectrum,” Donnelly spokeswoman Elizabeth Shappell said. “Hoosiers are rejecting Richard Mourdock’s ‘my way or the highway’ tea party approach that would undermine jobs and cut Medicare. Folks here in Indiana would rather their U.S. senator work with both parties to create jobs, lower the debt, and balance the budget — and that’s Joe Donnelly.”

The Mourdock campaign, though, dismissed the partisan poll.

“After $1 million in negative TV ads against Richard Mourdock in the general election, the best Congressman Joe Donnelly could buy was an internal push poll showing the race within the margin of error,” Mourdock spokesman Brose McVey said. “But no amount of money can change the fact that Donnelly’s voting record is in lock-step with President Obama’s attempt to run our economy into the ground. The fact remains, Hoosiers are joining Dick Lugar and Mitt Romney and rallying behind Mourdock’s plan to help create jobs and improve the economy.”