Missouri voters expect another close presidential race in 2012. After John McCain took the Show-Me State by less than 4,000 votes in what was the closest result in 2008, 42% of Missourians say their state will once again host a tight contest, and only 28% think it will not. Voters’ opinions are consistent with results from a PPP poll released Wednesday, which showed Obama leading Romney by one point in the state.
More Republicans (45%) think Missouri will be a swing state than Democrats (42%), despite the fact that Missouri has gone Republican in the last three presidential elections. 40% of independents think Missouri will be a swing state.
Missouri voters are warming up slightly to the idea of marriage rights for gay couples. 64% of voters believe gay couples should either be allowed to marry or form civil unions, up from 60% when we last asked about the topic in January.
President Obama’s nod of approval continues to influence black voters’ own opinions. African-American voters lead the spike in support for gay marriage after a complete turnaround from just four months ago. 50% of Missouri African Americans think gay marriage should be legal, twice their level of support in January. 81% of Missouri African Americans believe gay couples should either be allowed to marry or form civil unions, a 31-point upswing from the previous survey.
Tourist-friendly Branson is the most favorably viewed city in the state, with 64% seeing it favorably and only 11% unfavorably. Joplin, which was devastated last year by one of the deadliest tornadoes in American history, is essentially tied with Branson (60-7). St. Louis, the state’s second-largest city, was rated least favorably (42-31) among the seven cities polled. Between Branson/Joplin and St. Louis are Columbia (59-11); Springfield (58-12); the capital, Jefferson City (48-17); and Kansas City, the largest city (48-20).
Despite disapproval of the city of St. Louis, voters overwhelmingly support the reigning World Series Champion Cardinals. 60% of voters would root for the Cardinals if they played the Kansas City Royals. Just 28% would pull for the Royals.
Voters have really soured on Albert Pujols since he left for Anaheim. In January, even after signing with the Angels, his favorability spread was almost 2:1 (41-22). But now that his absence has sunk in, he stands at only 35-29. The ironic thing is the Cards are off to a better start than the Angels this season, though Pujols and his teammates are heating up of late.
The Cards' former skipper Tony LaRussa is only earning more esteem in retirement. 51% see him positively and only 15% negatively, up from 40-16 four months ago.
Full results here