Only 32 percent of people in Indiana who are familiar with Democratic senator Joe Donnelly said they planned to vote for him next year, according to new polling from Ball State University.
The poll of 600 adults in the state found that just under 70 percent knew of Donnelly, who has represented Indiana in the Senate since 2013 and served for six years in the House of Representatives before that. Only 3 in 10 respondents who were familiar with Donnelly said there was a "good chance" they would vote for him, according to a press release from Ball State.
Donnelly, recently crowned the least effective Democrat in the Senate, is viewed as one of the most vulnerable members of Congress up for election in 2018.
Donnelly's likely Republican opponents, Indiana representatives Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, have work to do when it comes to matching Donnelly's name recognition, according to the poll. Both Messer and Rokita were known by just 38 percent of respondents.
The combined number of Indianans that said there was a "good chance" they would vote for Messer and Rokita exceeded those eager to vote for Donnelly, with Rokita edging out Messer 27 percent to 21 percent.
Both will have to work to increase their name recognition as they ramp up statewide campaign efforts through next year.
"Clearly, we can expect Rokita and Messer to continue working to make their names known to the 60 percent of Hoosiers who say they haven’t heard of them," said the Ball State professor who conducted the poll.
The Republican primary to determine who gets the chance to face off with Donnelly will take place next May.