Poll: Voters want Trump as president, cheaper health care

By: - December 19, 2022 2:19 pm

A new poll shows who Hoosiers are leaning for 2024 — and what they want state lawmakers to work on come January. (Getty Images)

Indiana voters said they’d support Donald Trump for another presidency over other Republicans in a new poll Monday, but were less sure about candidates in other key races. And Hoosiers think lawmakers should focus on lowering health care costs — not changing up K-12 curriculums or further restricting abortion.

Republican pollster Christine Matthews, who leads Virginia-based Bellwether Research, conducted the poll of 1,000 registered voters from December 11-17.

Who’s leading the opinion race for president?

The midterm elections might’ve concluded just last month, but the race for 2024 is already on — especially when it comes to public opinion.

Nearly 40% of respondents said they’d vote for Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, compared to 28% for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and 13% for one-time Vice President and former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. About 15% weren’t sure who they’d support.

That’s despite 35% of respondents reporting that their opinions of Trump grew more negative over the past month. Just 16% said they’d thought more favorably of him over that period of time.

A frontrunner for governor

Second-term Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is term-limited, guaranteeing a shakeup for the state’s top office.

A quarter of respondents said they’d support U.S. Sen. Mike Braun — a conservative closely aligned with Trump who publicly had to walk back comments against interracial marriage — as Republican nominee for governor. Braun officially kicked off his campaign last week.

Other candidate options, from brash Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita to Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, scored in the single digits. Crouch announced her campaign hours before Braun.

It’s a smaller lead for Braun than in a poll his campaign released earlier this month. That survey was conducted in mid-November and included 1,555 likely Republican voters.

A full 40% of respondents in Monday’s poll weren’t sure who they’d support.

And Indiana’s next senator?

Braun’s spot in the Senate will also be up for election in 2024 — the first time in decades that the seat hasn’t had an incumbent in the race.

Hoosiers seem torn about who they’d like to see at their next Senator, according to a new poll from Bellwether Research. (Chart from Bellwether Research analysis)

When Bellwether Research included Purdue President and former Gov. Mitch Daniels in the mix to replace Braun, 32% of respondents said they’d support him as Republican nominee. All other answer options scored 10% or less, while nearly 30% weren’t sure.

But without Daniels, Rokita rose to the top with 16%, followed closely by U.S. Reps. Jim Banks, Victoria Spartz and Trey Hollingsworth – all of whom were in the double digits. Almost 40% weren’t sure.

Health care top of mind

About 31% of respondents said Indiana’s General Assembly should prioritize cutting health care costs, with another 21% hoping for a focus on affordable housing and 17% on more K-12 education funding.

Just 6% said lawmakers’ top priority should be K-12 curriculum oversight, and 3% said it should be limiting access to mail-order abortion pills.

Legislative leaders themselves have pushed educational investments, but have also been skeptical that more money will bring up abysmal test scores. But their other stated goal is to further slash taxes.

The margin of error for the poll was plus or minus 3%.


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Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie joins the Indiana Capital Chronicle after covering city government and urban affairs for the Indianapolis Business Journal for more than a year. She graduated from Northwestern University in March 2021, and has reported for the Chicago Tribune, Voice of America and student publications in Evanston, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Doha, Qatar.