By BRIAN A. HOWEY

CARMEL – Club For Growth released a 5th CD poll showing its endorsed candidate, State Sen. Victoria Spartz, with a double-digit lead.

The survey, with 409 respondents, had Spartz with 32%, Carl Brizzi at 14%, Beth Henderson at 13%, Micah Beckwith at 8%, Kelly Mitchell at 5% and Chuck Dietzen at 3%. The undecideds were at 21%, and 10% were supporting another candidate.

The poll reveals the three frontrunners are the ones who have mounted TV ads thus far. The poll was conducted May 11-13 and has a margin of error of +/-4.9%. The pollster was not revealed.

What makes the veracity of this poll doubtful is the name ID showing Spartz with 76% name recognition, Brizzi at 74% and Henderson at 57%. Brizzi at 74% is believable because he served as Marion County prosecutor for eight years. But Spartz, who won her state Senate seat via caucus and has yet to be on a primary ballot, hasn’t spent nearly the kind of money to buy enough TV gross rating points to attain 76% name ID, even with a significant social media presence. Henderson at 57% name ID is also a stretch.

The Indiana Family Association published a list the 5th CD field on the ideological spectrum. It rated Rev. Micah Beckwith as “very conservative,” the only candidate to achieve that score. It rated Brizzi as a “moderate,” Henderson and Treasurer Mitchell as “somewhat conservative,” Sen. Spartz as “conservative,” and Dr. Dietzen and Kent Abernathy under the “insufficient information” category.

Brizzi described his reaction to President Trump saying on Monday that he’s taking hydroxychloroquine as a “glitch in the matrix moment.” In a Facebook posting Monday, Brizzi explained, “President Trump just told the press 10 mins ago that he’s taking hydroxychloroquine and zinc for preventive reasons only ... meaning he’s not taking it because he’s symptomatic or tested positive for coronavirus, but as a prophylactic. The second the press conference ends, FOX news shifts to the medical ‘experts’ who say ‘Absolutely DO NOT DO what the president is doing. Instead, wait for the development of this amazing ‘vaccine’ which we will have very soon.’ We live in interesting times.”

5th CD Democrat Christina Hale released her first television ad of the 2020 cycle. The positive spot highlights her record of reaching across the aisle to solve problems and get things done for Hoosier families. It begins running today through the June 2 primary. “Christina has a proven record of delivering results for Hoosier families,” said campaign manager Joann Saridakis. “She’ll bring that experience to Washington, where she’ll fight for access to affordable health care and expanded economic opportunities so no Hoosier is left behind.” – Democratic Primary Horse Race Status: Safe Hale; Republican Primary Horse Race Status: Tossup.

1st CD: Visclosky video for Mrvan

Democrat Frank Mrvan touted a video endorsement from retiring U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky. “Frank is certainly positioned to excel as a member of Congress,” Visclosky says in a video posted on Facebook. “He is an empathetic listener who wants to leave the world a better place and help every individual and family he encounters.”

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott has been endorsed by Teamsters Local 142. “Thrilled to announce another endorsement from Northwest Indiana’s unions – I have been formally endorsed by Teamsters Local 142,” McDermott announced on Facebook. “It is an honor to be endorsed by the Teamsters, whose members have been performing essential work during this crisis. I will continue to be a strong advocate for organized labor in Congress and am grateful to have the Teamsters’ endorsement.”

PAC spends $100k to boost Reardon


State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, is getting another big money assist in her 1st CD bid (AP). The Seattle-based Voter Protection Project announced Monday it’s spending “six figures,” or at least $100,000, to create and send three different mailers to some 83,000 likely primary voters in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties ahead of the June 2 election. The nation’s largest political action committee focused on voting rights said it’s highlighting Candelaria Reardon’s efforts to hold President Donald Trump accountable, in contrast to Democratic Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., who initially did not support the 2019 House impeachment inquiry. “Former Republican Tom McDermott opposed Donald Trump’s impeachment and has actively worked to make voting inaccessible for Hoosiers,” VPP President Matt Liebman said. VPP is the second PAC sending mailers on behalf of Candelaria Reardon. Bold PAC, a super PAC affiliated with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, also has sent postcards backing the six-term state lawmaker to some 64,000 Region households. Democratic Primary Horse Race Status: Likely McDermott.

Governor

NW Trades Council endorses Holcomb


The Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council has unanimously endorsed Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb for his reelection bid, Randy Palmateer announced. “This is the first time in the history of the council that a Republican governor has been endorsed,” said Palmateer, business manager. “On behalf of the 30 affiliates and more than 35,000 highly trained, hard-working, union men and women of the Northwest Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council thank you for everything you do for the construction industry.”

Meanwhile, presumptive Democratic nominee Woody Myers was endorsed by Indiana House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta, former congressman Lee Hamilton and the United Steelworkers.

Myers tweeted on Thursday that he supports “sensitivity training” for legislators following State Rep. Jim Lucas’s meme. Myers tweeted: “Rep. Jim Lucas, an IN elected official, used a picture of dancing African children to create a racist meme  on social media. I support efforts by State Senate Democrats to bring bias and racial sensitivity training to the Indiana General Assembly. Some really need it.” Lucas was demoted by House Speaker Todd Huston on summer study committees, telling the IndyStar, “The post is unacceptable and I don’t condone it.”

General Assembly

SD7: Buchanan reacts to KKK fliers


Pressed by Democrats and WLFI-TV on Ku Klux Klan fliers distributed in Battle Ground, State Sen. Brian Buchanan, (R) District 7, said, “I am aware of the recent activity in Battle Ground. It is extremely disappointing to see this type of behavior. Hatred, bigotry, discrimination, and racism have no place in our society. I firmly believe this is the result of a few bad actors who do not represent the majority of Hoosiers and I stand with our community in denouncing this hateful propaganda.”

HD45: Borders faces Gormong


A pair of Christian conservatives are vying for the GOP’s nomination in the fall general election for Indiana House District 45. Incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Borders, of Jasonville, and Jeff Gormong, of Farmesburg, say they’re motivated to take their rural sensibilities to the statehouse and represent residents of the district (Terre Haute Tribune-Star). Borders has represented District 45 for 14 of the past 16 years, but says he’s more motivated than ever to represent the constituents. “When I run now I think about my grandchildren,” Borders said. “And I believe that future of our nation hangs in the balance between those that want to destroy our Constitution and those that want to uphold it. I believe that there are people trying to destroy the freedoms and religious liberties that we know and hold. And so I run with a stronger passion than I’ve ever ran before. “There are people that want to control every facet of our lives, and we’re seeing it now, but they’re destroying the economy.” 

Gormong said he feels state government is getting done as much as it should for rural Indiana and feels he would be best to represent the needs of District 45. “We’ve been dealing with school issues and teacher issues for a long time,” Gormong said. “We can argue about teacher pay and blame anyone we want for the issues, but the reality is that we’re not replacing our retired teachers with anyone new, and there aren’t enough people wanting to go into the profession.” Republican Primary Horse Race Status: Safe Borders.

Biden leads by 11% in Quinnipiac Poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Trump 50 - 39% in a head-to-head matchup in the election for president, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll of registered voters. That’s up from the 49 - 41% lead Biden held in an April 8th national poll, but the change is within the margin of error. Democrats go to Biden 88 - 5%, Republicans go to Trump 87 - 8%, and independents go to Biden 47 - 36%.“What does the 11 point Biden lead tell us? At best for Team Trump, it says voter confidence in President Trump is shaky. At worst for them, as coronavirus cases rise, Trump’s judgement is questioned - and November looms,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy. More than two months into the coronavirus crisis in the U.S., President Trump’s job approval rating ticks lower. 42% of voters approve of the job President Trump is doing, while 53% disapprove. That’s compared to a 45 - 51% job approval rating he received in April, his highest ever. On the president’s response to the coronavirus, 41% of voters approve and 56% disapprove. That is down from a 46 - 51% approval rating in April. On the president’s handling of the economy, 50% approve while 47% disapprove, compared to a 51 - 44% approval in April.