In its quarterly poll, SoonerPoll surveyed 373 likely Oklahoma voters on a variety of topics including Medicaid expansion, raising the age to 21 for tobacco consumption, the 2020 Census and much more. Full results can be found at the bottom of this post.
The poll, conducted July 17 through July 27, also examined how voters view Gov. Kevin Stitt half way through his first year in office. Among those surveyed, 66 percent approve of Stitt’s job so far. Only about 17 percent of those surveyed hold an unfavorable view.
Similarly, Donald Trump remains popular in Oklahoma, with 58 percent of those surveyed approving of the president’s job performance. A further 39 percent do not approve.
The Oklahoma Legislature’s approval/disapproval split comes in at 44.2 percent combined favorable and 33.8 percent combined unfavorable.
Oklahoma voters support Medicaid expansion
One prominent policy proposal that Oklahoma legislators have not acted on is the expansion of Medicaid for low-income adults. Those surveyed favor Medicaid expansion, with about 56 percent of those surveyed supporting the expansion of Medicaid for low income Oklahomans.
The poll posed the question two separate ways, first by simply asking if the voters favored or opposed Medicaid expansion. On that question, 56.3 percent (or 210 respondents) favored while only 27.7 percent (or 103 respondents) opposed Medicaid expansion. The next question, however, mentioned several specific details of the proposal, including Oklahoma’s share of the cost. Only three respondents switched their response from favoring Medicaid expansion, but many who were neutral on the first question moved to opposing on the second. In total, 34.4 percent (or 129 respondents) opposed Medicaid expansion when hearing the cost and eligibility breakdown.
Overall, the Medicaid expansion broke down largely along party lines, with about 75 percent of those surveyed who identify as Democrats in favor of expansion.
On the GOP side, about 40 percent of those surveyed support expansion. Among independents, nearly 54 percent support expansion.
“There is a strong level of support for Medicaid expansion,” SoonerPoll founder Bill Shapard told NonDoc. “The place where that will be the hardest sell will be in rural areas that are much more conservative. But at the same time, as those in those areas see their hospitals close and consolidate, that could change the picture.”
With the Oklahoma Legislature having punted on Medicaid expansion for the past eight years, proponents are orchestrating a ballot initiative that would put the issue to a vote of the people as State Question 802. The Yes on 802 campaign is currently collecting signatures.
Presidential race: Trump on top
In what will likely surprise no one, Donald Trump appears well positioned to win Oklahoma’s seven electoral college votes in November 2020.
According to the SoonerPoll results, Trump has support from just under 50 percent of those surveyed. A further 32 percent said they would vote for whoever the Democratic Party nominates. About 17 percent are undecided.
Should the age to buy tobacco be raised?
Oklahoma’s state government has raised taxes to discourage smoking and tobacco use over the last decade, but July’s poll results show support for another measure to help curb the habit.
About 70 percent of those surveyed favor raising the age to purchase and consume tobacco products in Oklahoma from 18 to 21. Only 22 percent oppose that restriction.
Such a hike in the age limit for tobacco purchase has been adopted by at least nine states so far in 2019, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) also supports the initiative on the federal level. Several tobacco companies — including Juul Labs, which makes a popular e-cigarette — are in favor of the change as well.
Download the full SoonerPoll results
The full results of the latest SoonerPoll survey from July 17 through July 27 can be viewed and downloaded below. The poll has a 5 percent margin of error.