ST. LOUIS – Despite a surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, a SLU/YouGov poll finds nearly a quarter of eligible Missouri voters say they will not get the COVID vaccine and an additional 10% of voters say they aren’t sure if they will get it.
Voters increasingly approve of Governor Mike Parson’s response to the COVID pandemic compared to the year prior – 53% as of July 2021 to 48% in June 2020. Forty-nine percent of Missouri voters approve of how President Joe Biden’s handling the pandemic.
YouGov interviewed 950 likely Missouri voters between July 19 and July 29 on a variety of topics important to state residents and weighted the survey respondents to known characteristics (age, education, gender, and race) of registered Missouri voters. The margin of error on the weighted data is 4.1%. The poll was funded by SLU’s School of Education and the Saint Louis University Research Institute.
Pollsters also sought voter opinion on Medicaid expansion in the state, critical race theory, the state economy, a new student scholarship program, views on 2022 Republican Senate candidates, and other issues. You can see the full results of the survey at the bottom of this story (cross tab results included).
Missourians voted to expand Medicaid in the Nov. 2020 election by a 53% to 47% margin. However, state lawmakers did not fund the expansion during the 2021 legislative session. According to the SLU/YouGov poll, 42% of voters “strongly believe” and 21% “believe” Missouri should fund said expansion. Medicaid expansion is supported by 96% of Democrats, 54% of independents, and 39% of Republicans.
On Tuesday, Aug. 10, a Missouri judge ruled the state must begin enrolling people making less than $18,000 as part of the Medicaid expansion.
Meanwhile, a majority of Missourians approve the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program, which allows certain nonprofits to raise funds and in exchange for their donations and give tax credits up to 100% of their donation amount. Fifty-three percent of voters think students in low-income homes should receive priority but 55% of Missouri voters are opposed to limiting eligibility to students who live in areas with populations greater than 30,000 people.
And in a strange juxtaposition, the poll finds Missouri voters do not approve of teaching critical race theory in schools but they are more receptive to teaching about racism in institutions. Pollsters suspect some voters may not have a full understanding of what CRT is and what separates it from teaching about issues of systemic racism.
CRT is known as the academic study of how racism has impacted the United States through things like politics and culture, and how racism can be ingrained in legal systems and laws and not just a byproduct of individual bias.