Jobs, Education, and Healthcare Remain Top Priorities for Hoosiers According to the WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Study

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Indiana residents weigh in on state issues including education, same-sex marriage, gun control, and regulation of marijuana in new survey

Indiana residents approve of Governor Pence 55% to 27%, while the General Assembly holds a slightly lower approval rating at 53% to 34%.

Today, WISH -TV and the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University unveiled findings from the 2013 WISH -TV/Ball State University Hoosier Survey. In its sixth year, the Hoosier Survey identifies Indiana residents’ top priorities for state government action during the upcoming legislative session and garners their opinions on relevant social issues.

Survey results found that jobs remained a top priority for the General Assembly, selected by 83% of Hoosiers surveyed, followed by improvement to schools (73%) and affordable health care (59%). The poll also found that Indiana residents approve of Governor Pence 55% to 27%, while the General Assembly holds a slightly lower approval rating at 53% to 34%.

Although the majority of residents surveyed showed support for Indiana public schools (66% very or somewhat satisfied), respondents expressed a desire for change. Twenty-three percent found that schools had worsened since 2012, while only 14% saw recent improvement. The study also found that while a slim majority of respondents (51%) approve of the A-F Grading System, 35% prefer another method. The majority of Hoosiers (59%) support lowering the mandatory school enrollment age from seven to five, a change currently being proposed for next legislative session by Senator Tim Lanane.

Public support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fell slightly in Indiana in 2013. While the number of those in approval remained virtually unchanged, many previously undecided constituents moved toward an unfavorable position, with the percentage of those finding the ACA “very unfavorable” increasing from 24% in 2012 to 36% in 2013. Party differences are striking; while 69% of Democrats are very or somewhat favorable to the law, 87% of Republicans are very or somewhat unfavorable.

The survey also found that Hoosiers’ opinions on gun control align closely with national polls, with 83% of residents favoring background checks for gun sales, 65% supporting a federal database, and 54% favoring a ban on assault weapons.

The Hoosier Survey also includes public opinion on the Common Core curriculum, regulation of marijuana, gay marriage, Ag Gag, and more. Many of the results are available broken down by region, party affiliation, and age.

The 2013 Hoosier Poll, sponsored by Ball State University, was conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) from October 8 to October 21, 2013. PSRAI conducted telephone interviews in English with a representative sample of 605 adults living in Indiana. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ±4.8 percentage points.

To learn more about the Bowen Center for Public Affairs or to view the full Hoosier Survey, visit or call (765) 285-8982.


About WISH -TV
Since 1954, WISH -TV has continued to set the standard for television excellence in Central Indiana. WISH -TV has been honored as “Television Station of the Year” by the Indiana Broadcasters Association and “Outstanding News Operation,” “Best Newscast” and “Best Website” by the Indiana Associated Press Broadcast Association. 24-Hour News 8 provides around the clock news, weather and information through its television newscasts and digital platforms. WISH -TV, a CBS affiliate, is a LIN Media station serving more than 1,500,000 households. (Estimate according to Indianapolis Nielsen Station Index). LIN Media (TVL) is a local multimedia company that operates or services 43 television stations and seven digital channels in 23 U.S. markets, along with a diverse portfolio of websites, apps and mobile products that make it more convenient to access its unique and relevant content on multiple screens.

About the Bowen Center for Public Affairs
Founded in 2007, the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University empowers people who want to participate in their communities. The Bowen Center for Public Affairs offers expert and practical viewpoints on the operation of local and state governments.

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Sue Richardson

Dr. Joseph Losco


WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Study Full ResultsBowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University, 2013 Hoosier Survey