The new Rasmussen poll of Indiana, the first survey of the Senate race here since Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh suddenly announced his retirement, finds the two most prominent potential Dem replacement candidates trailing the Republicans.
Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsowrth trails former GOP Sen. Dan Coats by 46%-32%, trails former Rep. John Hostettler by 46%-27%, and trails state Sen. Marlin Stutzman by 40%-30%. Democratic Rep. Baron Hill is behind Coats by 48%-32%, trails Hostettler by 49%-31%, and is behind Stutzman by 41%-33%.
Neither Ellsworth nor Hill are officially in the race at this time, and an actual campaign would likely boost the eventual candidate’s name recognition and poll numbers somewhat. But for now, at least, the Democrats appear to start out this open-seat contest significantly behind.