As South Bend Mayor and Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg tries to win over voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, a poll of likely voters here in Marion County, a Democratic stronghold, shows nearly 60 percent of them either view him unfavorably or have no opinion of him.

The poll of 400 likely voters shows Buttigieg with a 41 percent favorable/somewhat favorable rating in Indianapolis. However, that same poll also revealed 28 percent have an unfavorable or somewhat unfavorable opinion and another 28 percent either have no opinion or do not know who he is.

Among Democrats, 62 percent have a favorable view, but almost a quarter (24 percent) haven’t heard of him or have no opinion of him. Buttigieg scores higher approval ratings with progressives (72 percent) than with conservative/moderates (51 percent), although 37 percent of moderate Democrats and 24 percent of progressives either do not know who Buttigieg is or have no opinion of him.

African-American attitudes towards Buttigieg are somewhat reflective of the narrative that’s been taking place at the national level.  His favorable ratings among black voters are at 36 percent, with 46 percent saying they have no opinion or don’t know who he is.

“In the largest city of his home state, Mayor Pete certainly can’t complain about his favorable ratings,” said pollster Stephen Spiker, President and owner of Mason Strategies. “However, with so many Democratic voters even here unfamiliar with him, particularly black voters, something has to change in a big way for him to overcome the front-runners for the Democratic nomination.”



An earlier Mason Strategies poll, conducted in October 2018, showed that over 80 percent of voters in Indianapolis did not know who Pete Buttigieg was or had an opinion of him. “His presidential bid and small boomlet of national attention have certainly increased his statewide profile in less than 12 months,” Spiker noted.

In the August 2019 poll, fifty percent of Independent voters give Buttigieg favorable marks, while 65 percent of Republicans view him unfavorably.  But like in other demographics, 27 percent of Republicans have no opinion or don’t know Mayor Pete, compared to 15 percent of Independents.

The poll was conducted by Aug 11-14 by Mason Strategies and has a margin of error of +/-4.9 percent.

The survey sample was composed of 42 percent self-identified Democrats, 27 percent self-identified Republicans and 26 percent identified themselves as Independents.

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Photo:  Howey Politics