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Poll shows disapproval of MU protests, football coach Pinkel

University of Missouri faculty, students try to block media from covering protests

Students form a perimeter around the #ConcernedStudent1950 tent village and ask media to leave in November. Freelance photographer Tim Tai was firm in stating his First Amendment rights. Communications faculty member Melissa Click asks for 'muscle
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Students form a perimeter around the #ConcernedStudent1950 tent village and ask media to leave in November. Freelance photographer Tim Tai was firm in stating his First Amendment rights. Communications faculty member Melissa Click asks for 'muscle

By a three-to-one margin, Missourians disagree with the actions of protestors at the University of Missouri over the past weeks, a new poll shows.

At the same time, though, reactions to the hunger stike and the protests are deeply split along racial lines. Whites strongly disapprove of the protests, the poll shows, while a clear majority of African Americans supports them.

The poll was conducted Nov. 13 and Nov. 14 by Remington Research Group on behalf of Missouri Scout, a website for state political news.

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When asked “do you agree or disagree with the University of Missouri student protestors’ actions in the past week,” 20 percent of those surveyed said they agreed, while 62 percent said they disagreed (18 percent were unsure.)

But 51 percent of African Americans surveyed said they agreed with the action, while just 38 percent disagreed. Among whites, just 18 percent agreed and 63 percent disagreed.

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The same split showed up when pollsters asked if respondents agreed or disagreed with the protestors’ “message”: just 23 percent of whites agreed, while 53 percent of African Americans did.

Pluralities also say they disapprove of football coach Gary Pinkel’s handling of the protests, and say they would not encourage their children to attend MU.

In general, Republicans are more upset about the demonstrations than Democrats.

Michael Middleton spoke after University of Missouri Board of Curators named him interim president. "We all know the university has faced its share of troubling incidents and we recognize we must move forward as a community."

Here’s the entire poll, not broken out by demographics:

Q: How much have you seen, read or heard about the recent controversy surrounding the University of Missouri and alleged racism?

A lot: 66% Just some: 30% Nothing at all: 2% Unsure: 2%

Q: What is your opinion of the University of Missouri?

Favorable: 43% Unfavorable: 34% No opinion: 24%

Q: Are you aware that University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned his position this week?

Yes: 95% No: 3% Unsure: 2%

Q: Do you agree or disagree with student protestors’ message about racial inequality at the University of Missouri?

Agree: 25% Disagree: 52% Unsure: 23%

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Q: Do you agree or disagree with the University of Missouri student protestors’ actions in the past week?

Agree: 20% Disagree: 62% Unsure: 18%

Q: Do you approve or disapprove of University of Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel’s handling of this specific situation?

Approve: 31% Disapprove: 41% Unsure: 28%

Q: Have these recent events affected your view of the University of Missouri football team, and if so has that affect been positive or negative?

Positive: 22% Negative: 48% No change/Unsure: 30%

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Q: Have these recent events affected your view of the University of Missouri Administration, and if so has that affect been positive or negative?

Positive: 11% Negative: 58% No change/Unsure: 31%

Q: Would you encourage your children to attend the University of Missouri?

Yes: 35% No: 45% Unsure: 20%

Q: There is currently a proposal that would increase the cigarette tax in Missouri to provide scholarships to public universities. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

Support: 38% Oppose: 48% Undecided: 14%

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