Polls show Lucy Brenton as potential ‘spoiler’ in Indiana Senate race

Her projected vote total is larger than the margin between Donnelly, Braun in many surveys

Polls show Lucy Brenton as potential ‘spoiler’ in Indiana Senate race
Candidates for the U.S. Senate seat debate on Monday night, Oct. 8, 2018. (Source: pool feed)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Polling happens at every junction in an election, before, during and after, to gauge voter knowledge, attitudes and likely voting behavior.

Polling is especially important in close races, like the Senate campaign in Indiana. Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly, Republican Mike Braun and Libertarian Lucy Brenton are all fighting for the seat.

Although Brenton may not have a great chance of winning, getting less than 10 percent of the votes in polls, she is what analysts call a ‘spoiler.’ The spoiler effect is when one candidate’s presence in an election can draw votes from major candidates with similar views on issues.

If you look at some polls, you can see how influential Brenton can be. One poll from Mason Strategies shows Braun with a 4 point lead while another from Gravis Marketing has Donnelly up 4 points.

Another recent poll by SurveyUSA shows Donnelly up by 1 point, while a YouGov poll has Braun ahead 3 points. Both polls were published a week apart, in mid-to-late October.

This is just to show the more competitive this race is, the more Brenton is playing the role of spoiler, with the winner not clear until after the election.

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