A new poll of Indianapolis residents shows the prevailing thinking is that the city is less safe than it was last year.

A survey conducted by Indy Politics and Mason Strategies of 350 likely voters shows 40 percent of the city’s electorate say the city is less safe than it was a year ago.  Only 28 percent of those sampled said the city was safer than it was last year and 21 percent said there was no difference. Eleven percent said they were not sure.

The issue of public safety has become central to the 2019 Mayoral race between incumbent Democrat Joe Hogsett and Jim Merritt. This shows up in the results, as a majority of Republicans (51%) say the city is less safe, compared to only 33% of Democrats. Independents agree with Republicans, as more (43%) say the city is less safe than say it is safer (21%).

Despite the partisan results, 48 percent of African-Americans also say the city was less safe than a year ago; fewer than a third of black voters (31%) say the city is safer than last year.

“This is the second notable break between African-American voters and Democratic voters in Indy Politics/Mason Strategies polling this year,” said Stephen Spiker, owner of Mason Strategies. “In our August poll, black voters also showed support for more parental choice in education, despite Democratic opposition.”

Concern about city safety is most felt in the southern three townships, where 45% say Indianapolis is less safe, compared to the 41% in the central townships and 36% in the northern townships. Women are also likely to report that the city is less safe, with a 44% plurality and only 24% saying the city is safer. By contrast, men are tied, 35% to 33%, on whether the city is less safe to safer.

The poll of 350 likely voters was conducted October 14-17 by Mason Strategies and has a margin of error of +/-5.2 percent.

Click Here for the poll’s toplines.