New poll shows Hogsett leading Merritt by more than 30 points

Incumbent Mayor Joe Hogsett, left, and Republican challenger Jim Merritt, a state senator

A poll released Friday morning has incumbent Mayor Joe Hogsett, a Democrat, leading his Republican challenger Jim Merritt by 34 points, just weeks before the Nov. 5 election.

In the poll—conducted by Mason Strategies for political site Indy Politics—57% of respondents say they plan to vote for Hogsett, while only 23% say they would vote for Merritt, a state senator. Libertarian candidate Doug McNaughton got 4% of voter support.

About 15% of those surveyed voters remain undecided.

The poll surveyed 350 likely voters in Marion County by phone from Oct. 14-17. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points.

Hogsett’s support is up slightly and Merritt’s is down slightly compared with results from an Indy Politics poll released in August. That survey showed 55% of voters supporting Hogsett and 27% supporting Merritt. McNaughton also had 4% in that poll.

Still, Hogsett’s campaign issued a statement saying that “over the past 10 months, Jim Merritt has met with residents in every corner of this county. It is clear his message is resonating with voters.”

The campaign also said there is still time to connect with voters. “There are still doors to knock and people to meet. With the recent increase in campaign contributions, we are continuing to further our message and reach as many people as possible.:

Hogsett also maintains a high approval rating in the most rent survey of 72%, with 57% of those surveyed saying things in Indianapolis are headed in the right direction. About 28% of respondents said the city is on the wrong track, and 19% don’t approve of Hogsett.

One of the top issues in the mayoral race has been crime, with Merritt criticizing Hogsett for not doing enough to improve public safety and Hogsett defending his record. The poll results show that 40% of voters believe the city is less safe than it was a year ago, while 28% say it is more safe and 21% say it’s about the same.

Public transit has also come up during the campaign, and the poll asked voters how they feel about the Red Line, the bus rapid transit line that launched in September. The opinions were split—35% of voters say they have a favorable view of it, while 29% have an unfavorable view and 29% have no opinion.

The poll also asked a few general questions about the Indianapolis City-County Council races and found that 56% of voters would support the Democratic candidate while 27% would support the Republican candidate.

Democrats currently control the 25-seat council with a 14-11 majority. A dozen Democrats are seeking re-election. According to the poll, 38% of voters say they would re-elect their councilor, while 25% say their councilor should be replaced. However, 60% of respondents said say are not familiar with the councilor who represents their district.

The City-County Council has an approval rating of 55%.

The survey sample was 45% Democrats, 21% Republicans and 28% who identified as independents.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

7 thoughts on “New poll shows Hogsett leading Merritt by more than 30 points

    1. Joe, V., A pollster takes his or her partisan sample as they come, i.e. in a random fashion. It would be in violation of polling principles to fashion a poll with a certain partisan breakdown from the outset rather than choose the sample randomly. As far as whether the sample was obtained correctly, there are a lot more Ds than Rs in Marion County and the partisan divide has grown greater during the Trump era. It’s a little greater than I expected, but I certainly expected a big divide.

    1. They are never going to finish fixing the roads, plain and simple- it is an impossible task. Our street has never been repaved in the almost 25 years we have lived here, nor do I expect it to be. What I object to is the money wasted annually on half-assed repairs they try to make on our street that result in extremely temporary relief (sometimes lasting literally days!) that probably cost the city hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and is money that is almost a complete waste of resources and manpower. I would rather they spend those funds on fixing the main streets, and spend the money wisely, as opposed to simply wasting it.
      We have also seen other streets in the area completely repaved and have yet to figure out the system for how they determine which streets end up being repaved, and which streets continually get bypassed. I have yet to get a logical explanation from anyone at DPW or the city.

  1. Poll after poll, and expert after expert, have been wrong so many times, going back to 2016 and many elections since then, and yet every week the media continues to feature these polls as leading and accurate barometers of the pulse of the electorate when they are anything but. The line has been used many times (the first I heard it was about Nixon) but a famous columnist allegedly said something to the effect that she couldn’t believe he won the election; nobody she knew voted for him.
    I am amazed that anyone that voted for Hogsett would give him a second term, but I do see where they would vote for him over any Republican. (That explains Andre Carson, and his grandmother before him;God rest her soul, and God help the rest of us.) Of course, Republicans are going to vote for their candidate no matter who it is, simply because they are never going to vote for a Democrat.
    I see nothing that Hogsett has done or accomplished in his first term that warrants a second term. Merritt may not be the answer, but it is hard to imagine an outcome worse than the previous four years. However, I would like to see a mayor that is far less visible at public events, but gets things done behind the scenes.

    1. Stephen D., it is a myth that the polls were “wrong” in 2016. The national polls on the President’s race were within about 1% of being dead on correct. As far as the battleground states, the result in every state was within the margin of error. People who say polls were “wrong” don’t understand how the science of polling works.