A Ball State political scientist says the election seems to be having an effect on what Hoosiers think about LGBT rights.
The Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State has conducted two surveys over the last 10 months, both of which asked Hoosiers their opinion on the need for anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT community. Bowen Center director Joseph Losco says last December, about 51 percent saw such a need. Last month, that number was up to more than 58 percent.
Losco says that difference is driven in part because of the visibility of the LGBT rights debate in this election.
“I think people have, over the last six, eight months, had an opportunity to reflect on both of those sides of the debate and come to some conclusions on their own,” Losco says.
Losco says the debate’s impact on election results depends on the race.
“In the down ballot races it’s probably not as big a factor,” he says. “But I think in the gubernatorial race, it’s an issue that has been raised, it’s been highly visible and we’ve got contrasting positions by the candidates. So there I think it will be an important issue.”
The state hasn’t seen much spending this election cycle by the notable groups on either side of the LGBT rights debate.