Ball State University’s 2023 Hoosier Survey—the Bowen Center for Public Affairs’ annual non-partisan public policy study—is once again providing insight into Indiana residents’ thoughts about the effectiveness of President Joe Biden and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb.

The center on Tuesday released the second of three rounds of results from this year’s Hoosier Survey, which represents the pulse of the state regarding the most pressing issues facing Indiana residents.

Results about questions regarding Hoosiers’ thoughts about marijuana use and abortion were released last week; results regarding views on election integrity and tax spending will be released Jan. 30.

Highlights from this week’s round of results, which can be found on the Bowen Center for Public Affairs website, include:

  • For the question, “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job Joe Biden is doing as President?” 57.8 percent of respondents selected “Disapprove,” 32.8 percent selected “Approve,” while 9.3 percent selected “Don’t know/Not sure.”

    The results are similar to last year’s Hoosier Survey question about President Biden, in which 58.2 percent of respondents disapproved of his job performance, 35.3 percent approved, and 6.5 percent selected no answer.

    “Many national polls have found that President Biden is not popular right now and, given he lost Indiana by a large margin in 2020, it is not surprising that he remains unpopular in the state,” said Dr. Chad Kinsella, director of the Bowen Center for Public Affairs and associate professor of political science at Ball State.
  • For the question, “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job Eric Holcomb is doing as Governor of Indiana?” 42.2 percent of respondents selected “Approve,” 34.5 percent selected “Disapprove,” while 23.3 percent selected “Don’t know/Not sure.”

    This year’s results represent a slight decrease in Gov. Holcomb’s approval rating over last year’s Hoosier Survey, in which 48.7 percent of respondents selected they “Approve,” while 34.7 percent selected “Disapprove,” and 16.7 percent did not answer.

    “One aspect that is the most interesting to me is the high number of respondents who select ‘Don’t know/Not sure’ to this question,” Dr. Kinsella said. “What has been found in past Hoosier Surveys and other state surveys is that there are large numbers of people—anywhere from 25 to 33 percent of respondents—who do not know who the governor of their state is.

    “Overall, Gov. Holcomb remains popular, but there are a lot of people in Indiana and across the country that are not aware of state politics and politicians.”

This year’s Hoosier Survey featured interviews with 600 Indiana adults (age 18 or older). Respondents were asked several closed-end questions concerning policy related to local, state, and national politics, as well as demographic questions. No respondents were asked to identify themselves at any point during the survey, and all data is maintained as anonymous.

A first-of-its-kind public policy survey for the Bowen Center for Public Affairs, the inaugural Hoosier Survey was conducted in 2008. It is the only Indiana-specific survey in the state that examines Hoosiers’ opinions on a variety of national, state, and local issues. Several demographics are collected with each survey, including gender, political party, ideology, age, education, race, income, and religious service attendance.

complete listing of all Hoosier Survey results can be found on the Bowen Center for Public Affairs website.

Founded in March 2007, the Bowen Center for Public Affairs is a freestanding center at Ball State University in the College of Sciences and Humanities and is allied with the Department of Political Science. The center honors the integrity and leadership of Dr. Otis R. Bowen, the 44th Governor of Indiana and the 16th Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Ronald Reagan.

Advancing the ideals of civic literacy, community involvement, and public service embodied by Dr. Bowen’s career, the center provides networking, training, and research opportunities through its three institutes: Bowen Institute on Political Participation; Institute for Public Service; and Institute for Policy Research.