Missouri Voters Oppose Syrian Refugees Coming to the U.S., Poll Says

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Syrian refugees at the Domiz Refugee Camp in northern Iraq. - Photo courtesy of Flickr/European Commission DG Echo
Photo courtesy of Flickr/European Commission DG Echo
Syrian refugees at the Domiz Refugee Camp in northern Iraq.

Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free — but not, apparently, any Syrians.

A new poll of 1,451 Missouri voters found that a strong majority opposes allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. Only 22 percent said they were in favor of allowing them; 67 percent said they were opposed, with 12 percent unsure. That's in a poll with a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

See also: For Syrian Refugee Building a Life in St. Louis, Backlash Is Crushing

And despite the bold stance of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, who has made it clear he welcomes the refugees, St. Louis voters were no more positive on the idea. Sixty-four percent told the pollsters they opposed allowing the refugees, with only 23 percent in favor. 

That makes the St. Louisans polled less supportive of voters in Columbia (27 percent), Joplin (29 percent) or Kansas City (26 percent).

Sixty-one percent of those surveyed also said they'd like to see Governor Jay Nixon take a hard stance against accepting the refugees. And 59 percent said they were more likely to support a candidate who took such a stance. 

We can only imagine the moral that Republican gubernatorial candidates Catherine Hanaway, Peter Kinder and Eric Greitens are going to take from these numbers. 

The poll was conducted by the Remington Research Group on behalf of the Missouri Alliance for Freedom. It included 43 percent Republican voters, 38 percent Democrat voters and 19 percent who identified as non-partisan.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected]

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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