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Infrastructure, Crime are Top Priorities for Indy Voters in Mayoral Election; Education and Local Economy Also Rank High

Infrastructure, Crime are Top Priorities for Indy Voters in Mayoral Election; Education and Local Economy Also Rank High

Published Monday, September 9, 2019
by Jaime Barb

INDIANAPOLIS: Crime and roads are the top issue priorities for Indianapolis voters in the city’s upcoming mayoral election, according to a new poll, commissioned by MIBOR REALTOR® Association (MIBOR) and conducted by American Strategies, of registered voters who said they were likely to vote in the November 2019 municipal election.

While voters place a high priority on a number of issues, when asked which one issue is most important in deciding their vote for Indianapolis Mayor, 41 percent mentioned reducing crime and gun violence as their top concern while 24 percent talked about fixing roads and improving infrastructure.

The poll reached 500 randomly selected voters and was conducted from August 13 to the 18th, 2019. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points and included both wireless and landline respondents. The results were utilized to build a question bank for the first Mayoral debate, hosted by the Indianapolis Business Journal and Indy Chamber during the chamber’s annual HobNob event. 

“Over half of voters (58 percent) think that things in Indianapolis are headed in the right direction; just 35 percent feel the city is off on the wrong track,” said CEO of American Strategies, Joe Goode. “When asked to rate a number of issues on a 10-point priority scale (the higher the number, the greater the priority for the respondent), reducing crime (8.9 mean score), improving public education (8.4), improving the economy and creating more jobs (8.3) and improving local roads and highways (8.1) were the top concerns.”

While voters are very concerned about crime city-wide, they are less likely to see crime in their own neighborhoods. Two-thirds rated the crime problem in Indianapolis as either extremely serious (26 percent) or very serious (41 percent). But when asked to describe the problem of crime in their own neighborhood, just 12percent rated is as extremely serious (5 percent) or very serious (7 percent).

When asked to rate their satisfaction with the condition of local streets and roads, 57 percent were on the dissatisfied side of the scale. A plurality of voters (41 percent) were also dissatisfied with the availability and condition of city sidewalks.

When asked to rate their satisfaction with the number of grocery stores and places to buy fresh food, 44 percent were generally satisfied but one-third were dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction rates were especially high among African Americans (54 percent) and in the central and northern parts of the city as compared to the southern region.

Lastly, the national political debate and events may have some impact on how voters evaluate their local candidates. Fully half (51 percent) indicated that national events will have either a lot or some influence on which local candidate they will support. Younger voters (under age 50) and Democrats were more likely to say that their vote will be influenced by the national political debate.

Survey results are available at www.MIBOR.com/research.