Study: Many Hoosiers have no opinion of their U.S. senators

Many Hoosiers have no opinion about either one of their U.S. senators, even less than two weeks from the election. About one one in three people don’t have an opinion about Sen. Joe Donnelly, while nearly half have no opinion about Sen. Todd Young.

The survey that found those numbers was the Old National Bank/Ball State University 2018 Hoosier Survey. They contacted adult 604 Hoosiers.

About 35 percent approve of Donnelly’s work, while 31 percent approve of Young’s. Chad Kinsella, political science professor at Ball State, who helped with the survey, said 30 percent have no opinion of Donnelly and 45 percent have no opinion of Young, according to the survey.

“It is amazing that so many Hoosiers have no opinion on either senator, despite Young being elected in 2016 and the Donnelly, an incumbent, in the midst of close, well covered campaign against Mike Braun that has even received national attention,“ said Kinsella.

“The results also show that both senators continue to be polarizing figures. However, with Donnelly’s approval and disapproval rates, it is clear that more Hoosiers have heard of him and more have an opinion about him as compared to Young.”

He said some people are just not interested in politics and don’t pay attention the the political ads that are inundating TV.

“They will avoid, ignore and at some point right before election day, they’ll kind of take a look at some things and make a decision,” he said. “There are just a lot of people who are genuinely not interested and do not follow politics and they just don’t have an opinion. They don’t recognize the name.”

Kinsella was surprised that in a mostly conservative state there were fewer people who had an opinion about their Republican senator.

“That was another huge race. 2016 wasn’t that long ago. So, it’s interesting that there are a lot of people who still just don’t know,” he said.