By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS - The Donald Trump/Mike Pence presidential ticket has a 43 to 36% lead over Hillary Clinton in the latest WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll. Libertarian Gary Johnson comes in at 11%.

“Why is he winning?” asked Public Opinion Strategies pollster Gene Ulm. “Hillary Clinton. That’s the only thing. Voters are saying, ‘I don’t like that guy, but I hate the other one.’” The April WTHR/Howey Politics Poll had Trump leading Clinton Trump 47 to 39%. That survey did not include Johnson, who had not yet been nominated. But the fascinating statistic is that Trump’s Indiana numbers have actually declined since Gov. Pence joined the ticket in mid-July.

The poll was conducted of 600 likely voters Sept. 6-8, including 360 land line users and 240 cell phone users, with a margin of error of 4.0%. The sample consisted of 40% independents, 31% Republican and 28% Democrat, demographics Ulm said are consistent with the unpopularity of the major political parties and the two nominees.

Of Trump’s 43% support, 33% of respondents said they were “definitely” voting for the billionaire, while 10% said they were “probably” supporting him. Clinton had 26% definite and 10% probable. With 11% supporting Johnson at this snap shot, 3% who won’t vote in the race, 1% who will support someone else and 6% undecided, that’s an unprecedented 20% not yet in the column of the major party nominees.

Ulm expects that Johnson will gradually fade if he doesn’t make the pivotal Sept. 26 presidential debate which requires him to poll at least 15% in five national polls. “Which way those Johnson numbers go will be pivotal,” said Ulm, who said the Libertarian is cleaving more into Clinton’s support. “So if we see movement after the debate, where Johnson voters go away or shrink, where they move with independent women, that will hold the fate of down ballot candidates.”

Trump’s favorable/unfavorable rating stands at 42-54%, but Hoosier voters dislike Clinton even more, 34-62%.

WTHR/Howey Politics will release numbers of the Indiana gubernatorial and U.S. Senate rates later today.

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