MARION COUNTY, Ind. — Hoosiers in Marion County have made their priorities crystal clear.
In a new poll conducted by Indy Politics and ARW Strategies, crime stood head-and-shoulders above the rest as the number one issue that Marion County voters want to see addressed by the City-County Council.
Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, editor and publisher of Indy Politics says combating crime proved to be a bigger concern than even COVID-19 and racial injustice.
“Forty-three-percent said crime should be the big issue, and that was sort-of across all races, all genders, all townships,” Shabazz explains, “crime is definitely the major issue.”
COVID-19 pandemic and public health lagged behind with only 17-percent of voters saying it is the big issue. Racial injustice and social equality came in at just 14-percent. But when the data is broken down by race, there’s a distinct difference in priorities among voters.
Shabazz explains, “if you’re African American, your more likely issue was social injustice and racial equity. If you are white or Caucasian, your issue was COVID-19, of course this following the crime issue.”
The other two major topics of conversation were Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears. When it comes to Mayor Hogsett, the data shows there’s a big difference when it comes to how Hoosiers feel about Hogsett the man, and Hogsett the mayor.
“His job approval rating and like-ability are in the mid-fifties: 55 and 57-percent respectively,” Shabazz continues, “but when we asked would you vote for the mayor for a third time, only a third, about 37-percent said yes. The rest were either undecided or want another candidate.”
Shabazz believes the data came out this way for one of two reasons: people still like Mayor Hogsett on a personal level, but aren’t sure if he should have another crack at the job, or because it’s a non-election year with no Republican opponent, people have this vision in their head of the mayor going against their “perfect opponent.”
Then the poll shifted gears to Prosecutor Mears.
The Indy Politics poll shows 35-percent of voters approve of the job Ryan Mears is doing. Twenty-percent disapprove, while 45-percent have no opinion of him at all.
Shabazz says the data shows the prosecutor race is totally up in the air. Only 23-percent of voters say they’d vote for Mears again, while 21-percent say they’d vote against him. Indy Politics says a “massive” 56-percent are undecided.
“The prosecutor’s race is sort of wide open at this juncture in the narrative, until he gets an opponent that can actually challenge him,” says Shabazz.
He says one of the more interesting things to come out of this poll was who gets the blame for the county’s record-breaking crime numbers. The data from Indy Politics shows most people blame society in general for crime, not solely Prosecutor Mears or Mayor Hogsett.