By DANIEL SUDDEATH
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
Republican Todd Young’s campaign touted a recent poll that showed he trailed incumbent Rep. Baron Hill by seven points as a positive as the two head toward a November showdown for Indiana’s 9th District congressional seat.
The survey was administered by Public Opinion Strategies — considered one of the leading Republican polling firms in the nation — in May. It polled 300 likely voters in the 9th District, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.66 percent.
While behind in the survey, Patrick Lanne, of Public Opinion Strategies, stated in a memorandum that Young is in good shape because Hill is “well under the 50 percent threshold incumbents strive for.”
“Todd Young begins trailing a wounded incumbent by just seven points, with undecided voters leaning in his direction,” Lanne wrote. “All the traditional measurements of an incumbent’s political strength point to Baron Hill’s vulnerability in this election.”
According to the poll, Hill has a 41 percent to 34 percent lead over Young.
But the survey does show that the incumbent Democrat is leading, Hill campaign spokesman Daniel Altman said.
“Baron is spending his time focusing on putting more Hoosiers to work and protecting our economy by passing Wall Street reform, not playing politics with polls that are a month old,” Altman said. “It is nice to be ahead, but the only poll that matters is the one on election day.”
Public Opinion Strategies polls for 17 U.S. Senators, six governors and more than 40 members of the U.S. House, according to Lanne. The company serves as the GOP pollster for the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.
Other news from the 9th
Young is now a ‘Young Gun’
The National Republican Congressional Committee, or NRCC, confirmed last week that the 9th District contender reached Young Gun status in the organization. It’s considered the top level of NRCC’s three-tiered Young Guns program. The idea was conceived during the 2007-08 election cycle by Republican congressmen Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan.
The goal of the program is to “build a national wave of new conservative leaders dedicated to making Washington work for middle-class America.”
“Achieving the top level of the Young Guns program is an honor and another indication of the strength of our grassroots support,” Young said.
Knott hawks at Biden comment
Libertarian candidate for the 9th District, Greg Knott, took exception to a comment made by Vice President Joe Biden when he spoke on behalf of Hill at a fundraising luncheon in Jeffersonville on Monday.
Biden referred to Hill as a “deficit hawk,” which Knott said is incorrect considering the incumbent has never voted against war spending.
“If Hoosiers want a real deficit hawk representing them, they should elect me since I will never vote for spending on pork or undeclared wars,” Knott said.
He added Biden’s assertion that federal stimulus dollars have created new jobs is also inaccurate.
Knott stated Biden hadn’t received his information from the U.S. Labor Department, “which is expecting a 110,000 job loss in June and an increase in the official unemployment rate to 9.8 percent, which is 1 percent higher than February 2009 when the stimulus was passed with Baron Hill’s vote.”