2024 Missouri Issues Poll

Publication date: September 25th, 2023
Written by: Travis N. Taylor PHD

The Center for Excellence in Polling recently surveyed likely voters in Missouri about a range of issues facing the Show Me State. Results indicate that Missourians support commonsense reforms to protect the integrity public education, welfare, and elections, and to bring transparency to government spending.

Missouri voters want unemployment programs that get people back to work

Ensuring that individuals on unemployment are making progress toward returning to the workforce are among the most popular reforms polled. Policies that make sure that the unemployment program is a temporary measure for individuals who are actively looking for work, and seeking to return to the workforce as quickly as possible, are incredibly popular with Missouri voters across party lines.


of likely voters support requiring unemployment applications to be checked against existing data to ensure those who are receiving unemployment benefits are truly eligible for them, including an astounding 93 percent of Independent voters.1


of likely voters support suspending individuals from unemployment benefits if they repeatedly fail to show up for scheduled job interviews. Holding recipients accountable for ghosting interviews is popular across party lines, including support from nearly nine in 10 Republicans (88%) and Independents (86%), and three-quarters of Democrats (72%).


of likely voters support requiring the state to establish a mandatory job referral system that connects unemployed job seekers with businesses that are hiring.


of likely voters support indexing unemployment benefits to the state’s unemployment rate by extending the length of time individuals can remain on unemployment when the unemployment rate is high and reducing the length of time when unemployment is low. Unemployment indexing garners support from roughly two-thirds of voters in every partisan and gender group.

Voters support measures to hold local school boards accountable

From curriculum transparency requirements to election reforms, voters overwhelmingly support holding school boards accountable to voters and parents. Unsurprisingly, these reforms are among the most popular with women voters while garnering broad support across party lines.


Relatedly, Missouri voters also reject teaching elementary students about gender identity and sexual orientation. Among the two-thirds of voters who oppose such instruction are 84 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of Independents, and 63 percent of women. And, by similar numbers, Missourians support allowing students and parents to opt out of sexual and gender education and other controversial subjects (66%).


of likely voters support term limits for school board members. Support for term limits is high across subgroups, including 86 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of women. Support is also high for other school board election reforms, including 79 percent who support holding school board elections on the same ballot as statewide or federal general elections, and 59 percent who support requiring school board ballots to include the candidates’ party affiliation.

Missourians support policies that promote homeowner and worker freedom

Voters say they support policies that get the government out of the way of individual freedoms to repair their home and get their first job.

Nearly nine in 10 (87%) Missourians say they support allowing homeowners to make minor repairs and renovations to their homes without having to get a local building permit.

Eight in 10 voters (81%) say they support allowing high school students to work part time without having to obtain a government work permit.

Voters overwhelmingly support election security and initiative integrity

Ballot initiatives are a means by which voters can bring about a vote on a proposed law or state constitutional change through a petition process. Missourians support reforms that would maintain the integrity of this process.


of likely voters support requiring individuals who collect signatures for a ballot initiative to be registered to vote in Missouri, keeping out-of-state interests from paying out-of-state  activists to advance their agenda. Support for this measure comes from across party lines, including 88 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of Democrats.

To further protect Missouri’s initiative process, voters support reforms that would require: a supermajority support from voters for constitutional changes (68%); petition circulators to be paid a salary rather than paid per signature, which encourages fraud (63%); petition signatures be witnessed by a third party, someone other than the voter and the signature collector (60%); signature collectors to be certified notaries (53%); and signature collectors to complete their work within a 90-day window (50%).


of likely voters support the creation of a special unit that investigates alleged violations of election law. Support for this investigatory body comes from 88 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Independent voters, and 75 percent of Democratic voters.

Missouri voters want to preserve welfare resources for the truly needy

Welfare integrity is overwhelmingly popular among Missouri voters. Measures that eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in welfare programs ensure these resources remain available for the truly needy such as pregnant women, children, and the elderly.


of likely voters support checking eligibility for people on welfare more frequently and with better technology to help ensure those receiving benefits are still eligible, including 87 percent of Independents and Republicans, and three-quarters of Democrats. Similarly, 69 percent of likely Missouri voters support requiring hospitals to verify a patient’s eligibility for Medicaid before billing the state’s Medicaid program for services, and a large plurality (48%) support suspending hospitals for repeatedly extending Medicaid benefits to ineligible patients.


of likely voters support requiring able-bodied adults under 60 years old with no children under six to work, train, or volunteer at least part time as a condition of eligibility for food stamps. This can be accomplished by assigning individuals to a mandatory Employment and Training (E&T) program.


of likely voters oppose sending regular cash payments to every person without requiring them to work in a scheme commonly called “universal basic income” (UBI). UBI is opposed by nearly eight in 10 Republicans (79%), more than six in 10 Independents (62%), and a plurality of Democrats (46%).

Voters oppose using taxpayer money to fund politically driven agendas

Seven in 10 voters (71%), including 88 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Independents, oppose spending taxpayer dollars on programs that teach Americans that they are “privileged” or “oppressors” based on their skin color or their beliefs. Even a strong plurality of Democrats (49%) oppose these so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, programs.

Similarly, 71 percent of likely voters oppose investing taxpayer money in banks and investment funds that make decisions based on their political agenda, under environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. Opposition to ESG investing of taxpayer dollars crosses party lines, including 77 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of Independents, and 64 percent of Democrats.

The bottom line

Whether it’s protecting welfare resources for the truly needy, protecting children from political agendas in public school, or protecting taxpayers from funding politically driven agendas, Missouri voters support reforms that keep the Show Me State on a path toward commonsense policy and a prosperous future. And many of the reforms polled have broad and overwhelming bipartisan support, not to mention strong support from Independent voters. Policymakers in Missouri have an opportunity to enact meaningful reform to ensure a bright future for the state.

1 Support and oppose results throughout are obtained by combining “strongly support/oppose” and “somewhat support/oppose” responses.