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Executive Summary September 2012 Poll

Executive Summary September 2012 Poll

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The executive summary of a poll taken in Sept. 2012.
The executive summary of a poll taken in Sept. 2012.

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Published by: St. Louis Public Radio on Nov 29, 2012
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Saint Louis City and Saint Louis CountyUnification Survey
September 2012
 
Saint Louis City Saint Louis County Unification Survey, September 20122
Saint Louis City and Saint Louis County Unification Survey
September 2012
Introduction and Methodology
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) conducted a survey of Missourivoters by telephone (both landline and cell phone) regarding the concept of unifyingSaint Louis City and Saint Louis County. The survey interviews were collected betweenSeptember 4
th
and 9
th
, 2012. Two hundred randomly selected voters each were polled inthe City of Saint Louis and the County of Saint Louis. Three hundred randomly selectedvoters were interviewed in the balance of the state.The margin of error due to pure chance for City of Saint Louis and the Country of SaintLouis voter samples is plus or minus 6.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Theerror margin for interviews in the balance of the state is plus or minus 5.6 percent.Weighting the Saint Louis City and Saint Louis County respondents to their true proportion on a statewide basis renders a statewide sampling of voter opinion with anerror margin of plus or minus 3.6 percent.In all, the survey took 23 minutes to complete on average. The survey’s questions wentfrom the general to the specific as details of and arguments for and against twounification options – “Full Unification” of the City and County and adding a “NewMunicipality” to Saint Louis County -- were supplied to respondents. In a rough sense,this research design simulates a campaign for each of the two unification options.
Basic City-County Unification Concept
When asked whether they would consider supporting a Missouri “constitutionalamendment that would unify Saint Louis City and Saint Louis County,” a large majorityof voters in Saint Louis City (77 percent) answered affirmatively. But voters in SaintLouis County and in Missouri as a whole were much less enthusiastic for the idea asFigure 1 shows.
 
Saint Louis City Saint Louis County Unification Survey, September 20123
Figure 1:Consider Support for Constitutional Amendment to Unify Saint Louis City andSaint Louis County
Statewide, high propensity voters, men, self-identified liberals, self-identified Democratsand college educated voters are notably more inclined than other voter groupings toconsider supporting a constitutional amendment to unify Saint Louis City and Saint LouisCounty. Because of the high overall number in the City of Saint Louis that says it wouldconsider supporting a unification constitutional amendment, variations in potentialsupport for a unification measure are smaller. St Louis County voters look more likevoters statewide rather than Saint Louis City voters.
Support For and Choice Between Unification Approaches
Immediately following the test of likely support for the concept of a constitutionalamendment to unify Saint Louis City and Saint Louis County, respondents were providedwith bullet point summaries of two different approaches to unification, the “FullUnification” approach and the “New Municipality” approach. The “Full Unification”approach is a more radical departure from current local government structures while the New Municipality” approach follows an existing model for municipal and countygovernment. The summaries for each unification approach are provided bellow:
FULL UNIFICATION
Extend the boundaries of Saint Louis County to includethe territory of the City of Saint Louis;
Consolidate all government functions within Saint LouisCounty departments that are now exercised by Saint Louis Citysuch as the city jail system, health department, the Sheriff’sdepartment and the records recorder;
Eliminate municipal governments within Saint Louis

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