With just under two weeks to go before Election Day, a new poll by Indy Politics and Mason Strategies shows incumbent Mayor Democrat Joe Hogsett enjoying a comfortable lead over Republican challenger Jim Merritt, 57% to 23%, with 11% undecided. The survey of 350 likely voters shows also shows Libertarian Doug McNaughton earning around four percent. There is a +/- 5.2% margin of error.
These numbers are virtually unchanged from our August poll where Hogsett led 55% to 25%.
“With just over 10 days left, the fundamentals of the race haven’t changed from this summer,” said Stephen Spiker, owner of Mason Strategies. “Joe Hogsett is cruising on strong job approval ratings and confidence in the direction of the city, while Jim Merritt just hasn’t had the resources necessary to convince voters that a change in leadership is needed.”
The poll shows Hogsett enjoying a 72% job approval rating. Only 10% disapprove of his term as Mayor and only 10% strongly disapprove. Most voters (57%) say the city is headed on the right track.
Hogsett’s job approval numbers are strong across age, gender, ethnicity, geography, and even party, as 66% of Independents and 47% of Republicans say he’s doing well. As a result, Hogsett has a 20-point lead among Independents (46% – 26%), and 15% of Republicans plan to support Hogsett while another 18% are undecided. Only 65% of Republicans are planning on voting for Merritt.
Merritt leads overwhelmingly among the quarter of voters who feel the city is off on the wrong track, but there’s too few of those to cross the finish line. Though a plurality says that Indianapolis is less safe than it was a year ago, Hogsett is still winning those voters 41% to 35%, indicating that the focus on crime and public safety hasn’t moved the needle.
Though we have seen African-American voters in Indianapolis differ from Democrats on issues of public safety and school choice, they are a core base of support for Hogsett, supporting him 85% to 3%.
Merritt does best in the Southern three townships (Franklin, Perry, Decatur), where he trails just 12-points, 46% to 34%. However, in the Central townships (Warren, Center, Wayne), Hogsett leads 53% to 24%, and in the northern townships (Pike, Washington, Lawrence), he leads 66% to 18%.
The current poll of 350 likely voters was conducted October 14-17 by Mason Strategies and has a margin of error of +/-5.2 percent.