A new statewide poll suggests that majorities of Hoosiers support abortion rights and legalization of marijuana.
As part of the series of surveys released by Indy Politics and ARW Strategies, voters were polled on the two issues which could be factors in this election cycle and upcoming General Assembly session.
Voters on abortion rights
Controversy arose over the summer following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, and the General Assembly special session on the issue.
The legislature was the first in the country to pass legislation banning nearly all abortions with only a few exceptions.
According to the new poll, 51% of those polled say they are more likely to vote for a candidate running for the State Senate or State House if they support abortion rights while 35% say they’re more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes abortion, and 14% say it doesn’t make a difference.
An overwhelming majority of the Democrats surveyed, 91%, support abortion rights and say they’re more likely to support a candidate who stands for abortion rights. Less than two-thirds of the Republicans polled say they’re more likely to support a candidate who opposes abortion. One in five say they’re more likely to support a candidate who is for abortion rights.
In a press release about the survey, Andrew Weissert of ARW Strategies said while Election Day ramifications following the new abortion law are uncertain, it does look like there’s potential for blowback from voters.
“The governor’s job approval has flipped upside-down – although barely – and just over a majority (51%) say they’re more likely to vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights. I think it’s important to remember, though, that it means that almost half (49%) either oppose abortion or the issue doesn’t matter. So, at best, this is probably a 50-50 issue that splits voters and seems more likely to motivate Democrats than swing an election with Independents,” Weissert said.
Voters on legalizing marijuana
The Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Human Services met in September to discuss the potential for legalizing marijuana. Constituents from across the states, and guest speakers from Michigan, gave public testimony in favor of fully legalizing the cannabis plant.
In the latest poll, those responding support the legalization of marijuana, with 53% supporting full legalization, 24% supporting legalizing medical marijuana only, and 15% opposing legalization of any kind.
The largest opposition comes from the state’s senior citizens and Republicans – 24% of seniors and 25% of Republicans oppose legalization of any kind.
Weissert said legalizing marijuana seems to have massive support, with a majority in favor of full legalization.
“This looks like a no-brainer issue that the state legislature could take up in the future and have broad bipartisan support. Even among segments of the electorate that you’d expect to oppose legalization, there just isn’t that widespread opposition,” Weissert said. “Marijuana isn’t nearly as controversial an issue as it once was.”
Similarly to the other IndyPolitics and ARW Strategies surveys, this poll surveyed 600 likely voters and had a margin of error of +/-4 percent.
Sydney Byerly is a reporter at TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.