About the Unification Poll
In September 2012, opinion-research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates conducted a telephone survey of 700 Missouri voters (200 in St. Louis City, 200 in St. Louis County, and 300 throughout the rest of the state) on behalf of Missouri Council for a Better Economy.
Respondents were presented with two potential scenarios for the unification of St. Louis City and St. Louis County. The scenarios are Full Unification (the boundaries of St. Louis County are extended to include St. Louis City, and many government departments and functions are consolidated) or New Municipality/”Re-Entry” (St. Louis City would become the 92nd municipality of St. Louis County, with municipal control of police and fire departments, as well as local land-use zoning, maintained).
Unification Poll Findings
Many respondents were open to the idea of full reunification or of St. Louis City entering St. Louis County as the 92nd municipality.
Voters in St. Louis City were the most interested in unification. 77 percent of St. Louis City voters interviewed said they would consider supporting a Missouri “constitutional amendment that would unify St. Louis City and St. Louis County.”
In St. Louis County, 43 percent of voters said they would support re-entry, while 39 percent would support a full merger. Across the rest of the state of Missouri, 42 percent of voters said they would support re-entry, while 43 percent voiced their support for a full merger.
Top Reasons for Support
The most persuasive arguments relate directly to job growth and cost savings. Most voters supporting unification gave two reasons for their support:
- Unification of St. Louis City and St. Louis County will help end non-productive competition among St. Louis region municipalities and focus the region’s energies on opportunities to bring jobs to the St. Louis region.
- Unification could save taxpayers substantial sums of money (an estimated $20 million annually under the “New Municipality” scenario and an estimated $200 million every year under the “Full Unification” approach) by eliminating duplication of services and departments.