St. Louis City Proposition D Survey

December 15, 2020
Survey Finds St. Louis City Voters Familiar with Proposition D Election Reforms, but Many are Hesitant to Vote for Multiple Candidates

Our Show Me Victories team continues to focus on data and research to guide our clients in the right direction. Our polling team lead by, Bryce Summary, Ph.D., recently surveyed St. Louis City voters on how the recent passage of Proposition D would affect their upcoming vote for Mayor of St. Louis City.

Proposition D made elections non-partisan for the offices of mayor, comptroller, president of the Board of Aldermen, and the Board of Aldermen and changed the primary election system from plurality voting to approval voting. An approval voting system is an electoral system in which voters may vote for any number of candidates they choose. In St. Louis, the top two candidates in the primary would compete in a runoff election.

Show Me Victories is not currently contracted with any mayoral candidate or independent expenditure in support of a candidate as of this date. This internal survey’s purpose is to serve our clients with interests in St. Louis City.

Topline Analysis:

  • Seventy-one percent of likely March 2021 voters are either somewhat or extremely familiar with Proposition D.
  • Although most voters express some level of familiarity with the proposition, nearly half (43%) said they would only vote for one candidate.
  • A majority of voters (52%) say they will vote for the candidate with the best chance to win, even if they support more than one candidate. In contrast, a quarter of voters (26%) will consider voting for two candidates, while one in five (20%) will consider voting for every candidate they support.
  • Findings suggest that voters are thinking strategically, choosing to support the one candidate they believe can win.

Show Me Victories conducted a survey of 953 registered voters in the City of St. Louis likely to participate in the March 2021 nonpartisan election. The interviews took place between December 10-12, 2020. The survey data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response system administered to landline telephones (N=721) only and SMS-to-web texts administered to cellular phones only (N=232). The margin of error for the entire sample is +/- 3.17%.


Proposition D Familiarity: How familiar are you with Proposition D, a ballot measure passed by St. Louis City voters this past November, the measure reforms how elections in the City of St. Louis are conducted?

Proposition D General Impact on Vote: Proposition D reforms how elections in the City of St. Louis are conducted. It does so by requiring candidates running in the March 2021 election to run on a nonpartisan basis without party labels. The measure also introduces approval voting which allows residents to vote for as many candidates as they want.

So rather than only being allowed to choose one candidate, voters have the option to vote for one, a few, or all, of the candidates they find acceptable to hold office—with the top two vote getters advancing to a two-person runoff in the April general election. Given these reforms, how, if at all, will these changes impact your vote?

Proposition D Impact on Vote Support for Two Candidates: Thinking about the March 2021 election for mayor, if there are two candidates who you support, but you believe one has a better chance of advancing to the April run-off election, how would you vote?

Full Results in PDF format can be found here.