John Stehr/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - Public support for President Bush appears to be dropping among Hoosiers. A new Eyewitness News-Indianapolis Star Poll shows a big change in the way Hoosiers are looking at national politics.
Most people consider Indiana to be a "red" state that generally supports Republicans for national office. Our poll shows that these days, that's not necessarily the case.
Some 74 percent of Hoosiers polled believe the federal government is on the wrong track. Just 20 percent think we are heading in the right direction.
"But there are two issues that really stand out, and that is disapproval with the way President Bush is handling the federal budget and 71 percent disapproving of immigration policy. They just don't think things are being properly handled," said Ann Selzer, pollster.
The President's approval rating among Hoosiers is below 50 percent in all areas. In some, it is well below.
Forty-eight percent approve of the president's efforts to fight terrorism. But only 28 percent approve of his overall job performance. Just 28 percent support his handling of Iraq. On the economy, he scores a 25. The president gets 17's on the budget and immigration policy.
So what does all this mean when Hoosiers vote for president next year? The poll says 37 percent are likely to vote for the Democratic nominee while only 32 percent would vote for the Republican.
"All of these things taken together, it makes Indiana look like less of a red state than maybe people think of Indiana as being. One thing I want to point out is the our approval ratings give us some guidance on whether we've got something that's really happening across Indiana," said Selzer.
Indiana's most popular politician is still Senator Evan Bayh. In fact, if he is on the Democratic national ticket this year, Hoosier support for the Democrats goes from 37 percent to 47 percent.