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Hoosier Views Mixed on Trump’s Tax Reform; Least Support from Low-Income Hoosiers

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MUNCIE, Indiana – As the 2018 midterm elections approach, less than a majority of Hoosiers approve of the 2017 tax reform law passed by Congress and signed by the president, according to the results of the Old National Bank/Ball State University 2018 Hoosier Survey. In the telephone survey of 604 adult Hoosiers, only 41 percent of those responding approved of the tax reform measure. Still, that percentage was greater than the 31 percent who disapproved.

“These results provide an indication of why the race for US Senate has been so closely contested even in a state where President Trump won the presidential election by almost 20 percentage points,” said Charles Taylor, Managing Director of the Bowen Center for Public Affairs, which conducts the annual public opinion survey. “Approval of the tax cuts isn’t as widespread as some might have hoped. When we look at approval by income group, we find that tax reform is more popular with higher income Hoosiers than those with lower incomes. About 55 percent of those with annual household incomes of at least $75,000 approve, compared to only 30 percent who disapprove. For those with incomes of $30,000 or less, only 29 percent approve, slightly less than the 31 percent who disapprove.”

Responses were similarly mixed when Hoosiers were asked about the likely impact of the tax reform on their families, with 29 percent saying the effects would be mostly positive, 24 percent mostly negative, and 30 percent saying it would not have much effect either way. “Once again, the views of lower income Hoosiers were less positive, with only 12 percent expecting tax reform to have a mostly positive effect on them and their families. Higher income Hoosiers were more favorable, with 50 percent expecting mostly positive effects.”

When asked about the likely impact of the reforms on the country as a whole, responses were comparable to overall approval, with 38 percent saying the effects would be mostly positive, 27 percent mostly negative, and 14 percent saying it would not have much effect either way.

The survey also indicates that views on tax reform are polarized by party, said Taylor. “Tax reform is very popular among Republicans, with 74 percent approving, there is less support among independents, with 45 percent approval, and little support among Democrats, with only 29 percent approving.”

Survey Methodology

The Old National Bank / Ball State University 2018 Hoosier Survey obtained telephone interviews with a representative sample of 604 adults living in Indiana. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (316) and cell phone (288, including 184 with adults with no landline phone). The survey was conducted by Issues & Answers Network, Inc. (I&A). Interviews were done in English from October 2-20, 2018. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ±5.1 percentage points.