Internal polling released by Democrat Jennifer McCormick’s campaign labelled next year’s gubernatorial contest a “toss-up” and Hoosiers support abortion rights.

The poll showed voters are unhappy with the direction of the state and overwhelmingly reject the extreme, near-total abortion ban passed following the Dobbs Supreme Court decision.

Indiana voters express strong pessimism about the state’s current direction, with just 26 percent saying the state is headed in the right direction, while 54 percent feel things are off track. Pessimism about the state’s direction stretches across partisan and demographic lines, with majorities of virtually every demographic subgroup saying the state is on the wrong track, the poll also showed.

Some of the other poll results showed.

Majority Support for Abortion Rights – Consistent with other polling in the state, this survey finds that a majority of voters believe abortion should be legal in all cases (28 percent) or most cases (24 percent), while 32 percent say it should be illegal in most cases and just 10 percent share Mike Braun’s belief that it should be illegal in all cases. Opposition to abortion is confined largely to the Republican base, while broad majorities of Democrats (87 percent legal, 11 percent illegal) and Independents (57 percent legal, 35 percent illegal) say it should remain a legal option for women in all or most cases.

SB1 Evokes Strong Opposition – Overall, 54 percent oppose the legislation while just 39 percent express support for it. Perhaps the most noteworthy finding on this question is the intensity gap between the two sides, as 47 percent strongly oppose SB1 compared to just 25 percent who strongly support it, providing a glimpse into the potential of this issue to mobilize voters in the upcoming election. Once again, we see opposition even greater among Independents – 56 percent oppose (including 49 percent strongly oppose) vs. 33 percent support (18 percent strongly support).

Braun Is a Vulnerable Frontrunner – U.S. Senator Mike Braun is the best known candidate for governor, but he begins the race with a net unfavorable rating (35 percent favorable, 38 percent unfavorable). Among the critical bloc of Independent voters, he is even more unpopular (32 percent favorable, 41 percent unfavorable). And his  initial 11-point lead over Democrat Jennifer McCormick (46 to 35 percent) quickly evaporates once voters learn about the two candidates’ positions on SB1.

SB1 Shows Potential to Transform Race for Governor – Asked to choose between ‘a Republican candidate who supports SB1 and promises to enforce the new abortion ban, or a Democratic candidate who opposes SB1 and would seek to reverse the new abortion ban,’ voters are divided almost evenly (39 percent Democrat, 41 percent Republican), with the Democrat winning among Independents by 4 points, women by 9 points, and voters under the age of 45 by 10 points.

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling of 663 Indiana registered voters on August 15-16, 2023.  Respondents were contacted via landline, cell phone, and text message. Survey results are subject to a margin of error of +/- 3.81 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.