A newly-released study shows a majority of Hoosiers support cold beer sales in supermarkets and convenience stores and alcohol sales on Sunday. The results are part of the Old National Bank/Ball State University 2017 Hoosier Survey and come from 600 telephone respondents. Political Science professor and survey analyst Sean Hildebrand says results from the 2014 Hoosier Survey show, while support for both issues has remained about the same, opposition has fallen.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Hildebrand discussed the demographic findings of the study. He found opinions among Independents, Republicans and Democrats to be virtually the same in the two categories. Hildebrand says income level and age played a role in some variability. "For Sunday sales, it was about 51 percent — below $75,000 in (annual) income — favored Sunday sales, where it goes to 72 percent if you make over $75,000 a year," he said. "It’s almost the same thing for cold beer. It’s a little bit higher in favor of it under $75,000 — at about 56 percent — and it jumps to 70 (percent) on the other side." Hildebrand says the only category where respondents favored anything by less than 50 percent were those over the age of 55 on the question of Sunday sales — 47 percent were in favor, while 45 percent were opposed.
"Cold beer is popular in Indiana. We find support for cold beer sales to be similar across partisan, demographic and geographic categories,” said Hildebrand. "Sundays are fun days too, and Hoosiers want to expand their ability to purchase alcohol in stores to seven days a week."
Indiana alcohol sales laws have been the subject of a study committee and are expected to be discussed again this year by the General Assembly. Indiana regulations currently only allow cold beer sales at package liquor stores. With the exception of craft wineries, breweries and distilleries, alcohol cannot be sold in Indiana on Sundays.
The study found 61 percent of Hoosiers support the sale of cold beer in supermarkets and convenience stores, while 31 percent are in opposition. Fifty-eight percent are in favor of Sunday sales and 36 percent are against it.