What Missouri Thinks: An Examination of Public Attitudes
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Political observers often refer to Missouri as a “bellwether” state, suggesting that the political and social attitudes of Missourians tend to reflect those of the rest of the United States. (Robertson, 2004). To better understand the opinions of Missourians on a set of important political, economic, and social issues, researchers at the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs examined results from the 2008 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey (CCES). This nationally-representative public opinion survey included a sample of 817 Missouri residents. In this report, we explore the attitudes of Missourians to examine how they differ from the rest of the nation and how they vary within the state. Given the demographic patterns of Missouri, we are particularly interested in potential differences in attitudes between residents living in urban and rural areas (see Appendix A for additional discussion.) Overall, we find that Missouri residents shared similar attitudes on major economic, social and military issues with the rest of the nation, but we also find that rural and urban Missourians held distinctly different opinions on these same issues. These differences in opinion are likely driven by factors such as partisan identification, political ideology, education, and other socioeconomic attributes.
Konisky, D., & Harrington, J.R. (2009). “What Missouri Thinks: An Examination of Public Attitudes” Report 08-2009. Retrieved [Month Day, Year], from University of Missouri Columbia, Institute of Public Policy Web site: http://www.truman.missouri.edu/ipp/