Nearly 70% of Mississippi voters favor creating a state lottery with a majority saying that lottery revenue should be devoted to public schools, according to a new Millsaps College-Chism Strategies State of the State Survey.

“The State of the State Survey finds that although voters are concerned about the state’s current direction, there are several clear-cut policy priorities that may help improve their perceptions of state government and the Legislature,” said Dr. Nathan R. Shrader, assistant professor of political science at Millsaps.

“These priorities include immense support for creating a state lottery and the need to address very tangible problems like infrastructure and the lack of accessible, affordable health care. In addition to these things, we learned from this survey that several key state officials such as Delbert Hosemann and Lynn Fitch are quite popular with the voters and should be taken seriously as potential candidates for higher office.”

Responses about road and bridge repairs revealed contradictions. While nearly a quarter of all respondents ranked infrastructure improvements as their top policy priority, just 38% favor increasing the state’s gasoline tax to finance the repairs. Only 29% of voters believe that lottery revenue should be directed to fixing roads and bridges compared to 51% who believe this money should go towards funding public education.

The State of the State Survey involves a partnership between the Millsaps College Political Science Department, the Institute for Civic and Professional Engagement at Millsaps and Chism Strategies. The survey was conducted ­­­Dec. 15-19, 2017. Sample size was 578 with 29% cell phone interviews.  Margin of error was 4.08%.  Results were weighted to reflect 2015 general election turnout for age, race, gender and partisanship.

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