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Missouri Voters Oppose Legislation Gutting Prop B, Want Gov. Nixon to Veto Bill

Statewide Poll Shows That More Voters Want Prop B Protected than Voted for It in November 2010

A new public opinion survey conducted by Lake Research Partners has concluded that a majority of Missouri voters do not want their state legislature to repeal or weaken Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, which was approved in November. Overall, nearly six in ten voters (59 percent) who have an opinion on the issue (those who did not respond “don’t know”) oppose the repeal effort in the legislature, while only 41 percent favor the repeal.

Additionally, if such a bill passes the legislature, voters by a nearly two-to-one margin want to see Gov. Jay Nixon veto the bill so that Prop B remains law. Overall, a majority (52 percent) want to see the Governor veto the legislation repealing the measure they passed, and just 29 percent want him to sign it (19 percent “don’t know”). Among voters who have an opinion on the issue, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) want the Governor to veto it and only 36 percent want him to sign it.

“Some state lawmakers think they know better than the people, and they are seeking to override the decision of nearly one million Missouri voters who favored Prop B and stronger standards for the care of dogs on commercial breeding operations,” stated Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.“These latest polling results from throughout Missouri show that voters don’t like this arrogant repeal campaign by state lawmakers, and they want Governor Nixon to respect the will of the people and veto any major modification of Prop B.”

The survey found that voters across the political spectrum, including voting groups who can make the difference in close elections, want the Governor to veto the repeal bill in order to protect the voters’ will, including the following findings:

  • 62 percent of independents want Governor Nixon to veto the bill, including 66 percent of independent women.
  • 61 percent of Republicans with an opinion want the Governor to veto the bill.
  • Blue-collar women, who are late deciders in elections, want to see a veto (65 percent).
  • Voters in the vote-rich St. Louis (69 percent veto) and Kansas City (70 percent) markets would like a veto.
  • In swing counties  where the vote on Prop B was close (+/- 10 points) more than three out of four voters (76 percent) support a veto, a share that is even higher than among those living in counties that went more strongly for Prop B (70 percent want a veto).

Prop B established common-sense standards for the care of dogs in large-scale commercial breeding operations, including clean water, food, space, exercise, veterinary examinations, and rest between breeding cycles. Several bills making their way through the legislature, including SB 113 which has passed the Senate by a vote of 20-14, and HB 131 which is pending in the House, would repeal every core provision of Prop B and revert to the weak laws that allowed Missouri to earn the reputation as the puppy mill capital of America.  Prop B passed in a majority of state Senate and House legislative districts, meaning that a number of lawmakers favoring a repeal are not only countermanding a statewide vote but also the voters of their own districts.

Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey of a stratified sample of 600 registered voters who had voted in the 2008 presidential election or had registered to vote since then. The poll was conducted by telephone March 17-21, 2011, using professional interviewers. The margin of error for the full sample is +/-4.0 percentage points.


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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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