With early voting starting next week, a new poll by Indy Politics and Crossroads Public Affairs shows that when it comes to the race for Indianapolis Mayor, there’s good news and bad news for incumbent Joe Hogsett.

The poll of 400 likely voters, conducted by ARW Strategies, shows Hogsett with a 10-point lead over Republican Jefferson Shreve, but there are a significant number of undecideds.

The poll shows Hogsett leading Shreve, 47 percent to 37 percent.

However, the same poll also shows that 16 percent of voters are undecided.

“On the one hand, if I’m Joe Hogsett, I would be disappointed to be below 50 percent in a city like Indianapolis, given the demographics. This is a Democratic city but he’s underperforming with his own base, only getting 81 percent of Democrats and is getting just 59 percent of Black voters,”  stated Andrew Weissert of ARW Strategies.  “On the other hand, I don’t see signs Jefferson Shreve is capitalizing on Hogsett’s vulnerabilities. Sure, Hogsett is underperforming Democrats, but Shreve is only getting six percent of them. Hogsett is underperforming Black voters, but Shreve is only getting 17%. If Shreve wants to win, he needs to be pulling a lot more votes from those groups.”

The poll also showed voters were split on Hogsett’s job performance; 46 percent approved, while 47 percent disapproved.

When asked if the city of Indianapolis was on the right track or wrong track, And clear majority of 54 percent thought the city was heading in the wrong direction, while only 27 percent said the city was on the right track, 18 percent were undecided.

When it comes to the issue of crime, voters said it was their biggest concern at 44 percent. And nearly 49 percent said the city was unsafe, compared to 42 percent.

Voters were split on which candidate would do better regarding crime and gun-related violence.

Thirty-nine percent said Shreve would do better on crime, 37 percent said Hogsett and nearly 25 percent were undecided. And on the issue of gun-related violence, Hogsett did somewhat better at just under 40 percent, Shreve was 36 percent, while undecideds were at 24 percent.

Voters were also asked which candidate would better advocate for a more inclusive, local economy. They said Hogsett, 50-30. And on the question of which candidate would be best at developing workforce housing, voters said Hogsett, 44-26; 29 percent either didn’t know or weren’t sure.

“This seems like an election that should have been a real problem for Hogsett. A majority of voters believe the city is on the wrong track. His job approval is under water. Crime is a major issue and voters believe Shreve would be more effective at dealing with crime, “Weissert noted.  However, Shreve is winning just 62 percent of those voters who think the city is on the wrong track and 71% of those who disapprove of Hogsett’s job performance. Shreve is winning just 58% of those who think the city is unsafe, and 58 percent of those who say crime is their most important issue.  At this stage, Shreve needs to have won more of those voters over. As much as Hogsett is underperforming his own base, Shreve is equally underperforming what should be his own. Voting hasn’t started yet so there’s time for either to finish strong but it’s much easier to consolidate your own partisan base than eat into someone else’s.”

Tomorrow, we look at the races for the Indianapolis City-County Council.

The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted September 24-25th. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.