INDIANAPOLIS – With the midterms approaching, inflation and abortion have been the biggest issues being talked about on the campaign trail. And polling shows they remain important to voters as well.

At the federal level, Republicans are hoping to regain control of the House and Senate. And for the Statehouse, Democrats are trying to break the GOP supermajority

Indiana Republicans have largely focused their message on inflation.

“I think if we stay on point, talk about the economy, the inflation that we’ve never had to contend with for at least 40 years, I think it’s the pocketbook issues that are going to be important to people this time around,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-Indiana) told our sister station WEHT during a recent visit to Vanderburgh County.

Braun isn’t on the ballot but has been campaigning for candidates across the state.

Meanwhile, Democrats have made abortion rights a centerpiece of their campaigns, especially here in Indiana, months after state Republican lawmakers passed a near-total ban on abortion. The law remains on hold after an Owen County judge granted a preliminary injunction.

Mike Schmuhl, who chairs the Indiana Democratic Party, said he hopes what’s happening at the Statehouse motivates Hoosier voters.

“A Republican supermajority, they’re in charge of everything while people are really struggling and everything becomes sort of extreme or a culture war or a controversy,” Schmuhl said.

The concerns among voters in Indiana are similar to those across the nation.

A recent poll from NewsNation and Decision Desk HQ shows inflation as the top issue for roughly 45% of voters nationwide.

Abortion ranked second – but much farther behind – with 17% of voters saying it’s the most important issue to them.

“We can sort of look at Google and sort of see what searches they’re doing – we know Indiana voters are concerned a lot about crime,” explained Martin Sweet, professor of political science at Purdue University. “They’re concerned about the economy, and we do see abortion picking up on there as well.”

Sweet points out Republicans have an advantage this year since the GOP is not the party currently in power in Washington, D.C.

“Really in the last 100 years, [there are] only three times that we’ve ever seen the party in power maintain seats or gain seats in a midterm election,” Sweet said.

Preliminary data from the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office shows early voting down this year about 13% compared to the last midterm election in 2018. 

Mail-in ballots are still coming in, so the state doesn’t have a final count yet on absentee voting.