Majority Of Voters with College Degrees Oppose Student Loan Cancellation Program

The latest Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey of Missouri voters finds Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt with a 12-point lead over Democratic candidate Trudy Busch Valentine, leading 51% to 39%. Six percent are undecided. With undecided voters’ support accounted for, Schmitt’s lead over Busch Valentine increases to 54% to 40%. 

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said, “There has been little movement in the past month, where the last Emerson/The Hill poll found Schmitt leading Busch Valentine 49% to 38%. Schmitt holds the support of both male and female voters, a 19 point lead among men, and perhaps more importantly, a six-point lead among women voters.”

A 54% majority of voters have a favorable view of Schmitt, while 37% have an unfavorable view. By contrast, voters are evenly split on Busch Valentine: 42% have a favorable view of her and 42% have an unfavorable view of her. Sixteen percent are unsure or have never heard of Busch Valentine, compared to 9% who are unsure or have never heard of Schmitt. 

Kimball noted, “Since last month, Busch Valentine’s favorability has increased one point, while her unfavorables have increased from 35% to 42%. On the other hand, Schmitt’s favorability has increased two percentage points, and his unfavorability has remained at 37%.”

Missouri voters expect Schmitt to be elected over Busch Valentine 70% to 30%. 

President Biden holds a 60% disapproval among Missouri voters, while 35% approve of the job he is doing as president. In a hypothetical matchup between President Biden and former President Donald Trump, 53% would support Trump and 37% would support Biden. Eight percent would vote for someone else.

The economy is the most important in determining the November vote for 42%, followed by threats to democracy (16%), and abortion access (14%).

Half (50%) of Missouri voters oppose the recent federal student loan cancellation program, while 35% support it, and 15% are unsure or have no opinion.  A majority of college educated voters oppose the student loan cancellation program 51% to 35% while those with a postgraduate degree or more support the program 48% to 39%.

A plurality of voters (47%) plan to vote to support Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3, which would allow the purchase, possession, use, and sale of marijuana for personal use for adults over the age of 21 and allow individuals with certain marijuana-related offenses to petition for release from prison or parole and probation, and have their records expunged. Thirty-nine percent plan to vote to oppose it, and 14% are unsure. Sixty-two percent (62%) of voters under 50 support legalization compared to about 40% of voters over 50 who support legalization.

Fifty-three percent of voters are very or somewhat familiar with Amendment 4, which would amend the Missouri Constitution to increase minimum funding for a police force established by a state board of police commissioners, while 47% are not too familiar or not at all familiar with it. Forty-four percent plan to vote yes on Amendment 4, while 22% plan to vote no. A third of voters (33%) are undecided. 


The Emerson College Polling/The Hill Missouri poll was conducted October 26-28, 2022. The sample consisted of very likely voters, n=1,000, with a Credibility Interval (CI), similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, region, and race/ethnicity based on 2022 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using cell phones via SMS-to-web, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines, and an online panel.

This poll is produced by Emerson College and the Nexstar television stations in Missouri. Journalists in Missouri citing this poll must attribute poll results to their local Nexstar Media station –  KTVI, WDAF, KOLR or KODE/KNSF – and Emerson College Polling.