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Mississippians speak out, what you want in the state

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Voters in Mississippi are concerned about the direction of their state, disapprove of the work being done by the state legislature, and rank infrastructure, healthcare access and cost, and increasing public school funding as their top priorities. These and other findings are detailed in the newest Millsaps College-Chism Strategies State of the State Survey.

With the legislature looking at the possibility of a state lottery, the poll asked voters what they wanted. The response was definitive. Nearly 70% of voters favor creating a state lottery with a majority saying that lottery revenue should be directed to the public schools.

“We found strong support for the lottery,” said Dr. Nathan Shrader, assistant professor of political science at Millsaps College.

Shrader added that many other states have a lottery, however, he said that there are arguably good points to either side of the issue.

Administered through a partnership between Millsaps College and Chism Strategies, the second State of the State Survey was designed to more clearly comprehend the viewpoints of voters about important issues in state government, particularly since the 2018 Legislative Session convened one week ago.

The survey also tests the approval of several major political figures such as Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, State Senator Chris McDaniel, and Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley in a year with a U.S. Senate race on the ballot and just one year before all statewide positions and state legislative seats are up for grabs.

“We learned from this survey that several key state officials such as Delbert Hosemann and Lynn Fitch are quite popular with the voters and should be taken seriously as potential candidates for higher office,” Shrader said.

The survey also found some contradictions within the electorate’s views, particularly when it comes to fixing the roads and bridges. While nearly a quarter of all respondents ranked infrastructure improvements as their top policy priority, just 38% favor increasing the state’s gasoline tax to finance the repairs. Likewise, only 29% of voters believe that lottery revenue should be directed to fixing road and bridge repairs compared to 51% who feel that this money should go towards funding public education.

Shrader said the survey also found that voters have mixed opinions on the current direction of the state.

To see the full poll click here.

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