Hoosiers are almost
evenly split on President Trump’s decision to impose new tariffs on steel
and aluminum imports, according to the preliminary results of the Old
National Bank/Ball State University 2018 Hoosier Survey.
In the telephone
survey of 604 adult Hoosiers, 42 percent of those responding approved of the
new tariffs compared to 41 percent opposed.
“Indiana is one of
the leading steel producing states, but we also have many steel consuming
manufacturing firms and workers,” said Charles Taylor, managing director of
the Bowen Center for Public Affairs, which conducts the annual public
opinion survey. “So, it is not really surprising that Hoosiers are so
divided on this aspect of trade policy.”
“We find that these
tariffs are more popular with higher income Hoosiers than those with lower
incomes,” Taylor noted. “About 50 percent of those with annual household
incomes of at least $75,000 approve, compared to only 42 percent who
disapprove. For those with incomes of $30,000 or less, only 31 percent
approve, well less than the 49 percent who disapprove. Among younger
Hoosiers, those under 35 years of age, approval was only 32 percent, well
under the 49 percent approval of those 55 years and up.”
When asked whether
they support or oppose raising tariffs on goods imported from China,
Hoosiers were more favorable, with 54 percent expressing support and only 33
percent opposed. Once again, higher income Hoosiers were more favorable with
65 percent supporting, than those with the lowest incomes with only 39
percent supporting. Older Hoosiers expressed greater support, 60 percent,
than younger Hoosiers, 46 percent.
The survey also
indicates that views on tax reform are polarized by party, Taylor said.
“Both types of tariffs are very popular among Republicans, with 79 percent
approving the steel tariffs and 83 percent the tariffs on Chinese imports,
there is less support among independents, with 33 percent and 51 percent
approval levels, and little support among Democrats, with only 14 percent
approving the steel tariffs and 25 percent supporting the tariffs on imports
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. Interviews were done in English from Oct. 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 plus
or minus 5.1 percentage points.