The antiwar ex-congressman is outpolling former Sen. Dan Coats in match-ups against the likely Democratic nominees for retiring Sen. Evan Bayh’s U.S. Senate seat (which had once been Coats’s seat).

Here are the latest Daily Kos/Research 2000 numbers. Hostettler runs at 40 percent against Brad Ellsworth (36 percent) and 42 percent against Baron Hill (36 percent). Coats is virtually tied with Ellsworth (37 to 36 percent) and Hill (37 to 37 percent). Against a third Democrat, Jim Schellinger, Hostettler scores 44 percent (to 33 percent) and Coats 39 percent (to 34 percent).

Does Hostettler’s antiwar streak resonate with voters beyond the GOP base? Are Republicans themselves wary of Coats’s lobbying ties? And can Hostettler raise the money to capitalize on these early numbers? It’s a little too soon for answers to any of those questions to be clear, but one place to look for the general lay of land is Jim Antle’s TAC article “Hoosier Hopeful,” which is online today.