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SLU/YouGov PollIn 2020, Saint Louis University launched the SLU/YouGov poll to provide researchers and policymakers a scientific assessment of Missouri public opinion.  A SLU/YouGov Poll will occur every year following the end of the state legislative session with an additional poll occurring in October in election years.

The SLU/YouGov Poll brings national attention to Missouri politics, receiving coverage from The Washington Post, Politico, and MSNBC, amongst other outlets. To get the latest updates, follow the SLU Poll team on Twitter.

October 2020 Poll Results

The October SLU/YouGov Poll interviewed 931 likely Missouri voters from September 24 to October 7 about the 2020 presidential contest, the Missouri gubernatorial race, COVID-19 pandemic experiences, and other issues important to Missouri voters.  The survey found that Republican candidates Donald Trump, Governor Mike Parson, and Attorney General Eric Schmitt all hold at least a 6-point lead on their Democratic rivals, and only half of Missourians would get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available today.

Key 2020 Election Findings

  • Donald Trump leads Joe Biden for President: 52% to 43%, but this lead narrows to 49% to 45% in post-debate polling
  • Mike Parson leads Nicole Galloway for Missouri Governor: 50% to 44%
  • Eric Schmitt leads Richard Finneran for Missouri Attorney General: 50% to 40%
  • 52% of voters support Amendment 1; 29% oppose; 20% undecided
  • 35% of voters support Amendment 3; 43% oppose; 23% undecided
  • 77% of Missouri voters plan to vote in-person on Election Day

Key Findings on Issues Important to Missourians

  • 42% of Missourians agree that the state of Missouri is on the right track
  • Approval of local school districts handling of pandemic drops by 10% since June
  • 55% of Missouri voters thought Mark and Patricia McCloskey “Acted responsibly within their rights to defend their home”
  • 51% of Missouri voters stated they “probably” would get a free, FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine if available today; 49% of voters would “probably not”

Analyses of October 2020 Poll From SLU/YouGov Poll Directors

More About the SLU/YouGov Poll

The SLU/YouGov Poll fills a void in the study of public opinion in Missouri. No other academic institution regularly conducts a non-partisan, scientific survey of Missouri voters and publicly makes its results available to citizens, researchers, and policymakers. The SLU/YouGov Poll then aligns with the Jesuit mission to pursue the truth for the common good. The SLU/YouGov Poll also contributes to the mission to the “faith that does justice” by informing SLU’s surrounding communities to improve solidarity within those communities. The inaugural SLU You/Gov poll, for example, asked Missourians about their opinions about government spending on the poor, race relations in their communities, views on education, and law enforcement.

Poll director Steven Rogers, Ph.D. associate professor of political science, leads a team of experts in survey research and policymaking. Associate directors of the SLU/YouGov Poll include Kenneth Warren, Ph.D., professor of political science with more than 30 years of professional polling experience, and Evan Rhinesmith, Ph.D., director of research and evaluation at the SLU PRiME Center and an education policy expert. Gary Ritter, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education, is the executive sponsor of the SLU/YouGov Poll. 

SLU has partnered with YouGov to conduct its annual survey of Missourians. YouGov conducts surveys for multiple academic institutions and is the primary, trusted survey firm for media organizations including CBS News and The Economist. An independent Pew Research Center study of online survey firms in 2016 further concluded YouGov “consistently outperforms competitors.”

The origins of the SLU/YouGov Poll lie in an internal Big Ideas competition to define university-wide strategic research priorities sponsored by the SLU Research Institute. The Big Ideas competition provides funding to research initiatives that demonstrate broad faculty engagement, strong leadership and compelling research plans.

For questions or suggestions for the SLU/YouGov Poll, contact SLU Poll Director, Dr. Steven Rogers.