By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A new poll conducted by Auburn University at Montgomery shows both Republicans and Democrats favor expanding Medicaid health care for low income Alabamians.
According to the survey, 52.2% of Republicans either somewhat or strongly support expanding Medicaid while a full 84.8% of Democrats favor the idea.
How strongly do you support or oppose expanding Medicaid to low income Alabamians?
The AUM Poll surveyed voters on the economy, healthcare and education, all of which voters rated as their top issues heading into the 2020 general election.
Dr David Hughes, who directed the survey, said the results show clear majorities in supporting policies that expand Medicaid and that would create a state-run education lottery.
“Overall, this survey shows that while a majority of residents support policies for improving education and healthcare, peaceful protests of police brutality and a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, majorities also support state legislation banning the removal of Confederate monuments and the erection of a southern border wall,” Hughes said.
The poll surveyed 575 registered voters from July 2-9 with a margin for error of +/- 5.7%.
In testing voters opinions on the 2017 law protecting Alabama monuments, the survey found that only a slight majority of Alabama voters support forbidding the removal of Confederate monuments. There was less support for the 2017 law among liberal voters, Hughes said.
“A slim majority, or 52 percent, of all Alabama voters support the state legislature’s 2017 law forbidding the removal of Confederate monuments,” Hughes said.
How strongly do you support or oppose the state legislature’s decision to forbid the removal of monuments honoring leaders of the Confederacy?
“Upon closer inspection, AUM Poll found that 35 percent of Democrats supported the law compared to 66 percent of Republicans,” Hughes, an assistant professor of political science at AUM, said. “The legislation was also more popular among older, less educated, and white residents.”
The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act prohibits anyone from relocating, removing, altering or renaming public buildings, streets and memorials that have been standing for more than 40 years. The law doesn’t specifically mention Confederate monuments, but it was enacted as some Southern states and cities began removing monuments and emblems of the Confederacy.
Those who do alter or move a monument face a fee of $25,000.
When it comes to the recent Black Lives Matter and police brutality protests seen across the nation earlier this month, the AUM poll found that 62% of Alabamians support the peaceful protests. This includes 83% of Democrats compared to 49% among Republicans.
“Public opinion on this matter was also polarized by race with 55 percent of whites indicating their support for peaceful protests compared to 79 percent of nonwhites,” Hughes said.
Full polling memo here: Toplines_Race Relations_Healthcare_Education_07232020