Nationally, majority favors keeping Confederate monuments, poll finds
By ANDREW CAIN
Sep 14, 2017
A clear majority of respondents say Confederate monuments should remain in all public spaces, according to a national poll out Thursday morning.
The Ipsos poll on racial issues, conducted Aug. 21-Sept. 5 on behalf of Thomson Reuters and the University of Virginia Center for Politics, also found broad agreement on racial equality.
But it spotlighted vestiges of what the pollsters termed “troubling levels of support for certain racially charged ideas and attitudes frequently expressed by extremist groups.”
On Confederate monuments, 57 percent said they should remain in public spaces, while 26 percent said they should be removed and 17 percent said they don’t know. Among African-Americans, 54 percent said all of the monuments should be removed. Among whites, 67 percent said the monuments should remain in place.
The survey gauged attitudes on race by asking respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with certain statements.
• Eighty-nine percent agreed that “all races should be treated equally,” 85 percent agreed that “people of different races should be free to live wherever they choose” and 82 percent agreed that “all races are equal.”
• Thirty-one percent said they agree that “America must protect and preserve its white European heritage,” while 34 percent disagreed, 29 percent had neither opinion and 5 percent said they don’t know.
• While 78 percent agreed that “America must protect and preserve its multi-cultural heritage,” 5 percent disagreed, 14 percent held neither view and 4 percent didn’t know.
• Most respondents — 65 percent — disagreed with the statement: “Marriage should only be allowed between people of the same race.” But 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Loving v. Virginia decision struck down laws barring interracial marriage, 16 percent said they agree with the statement. Fourteen percent held neither view and 4 percent said they don’t know.
• Fifty-five percent agreed with the statement: “Racial minorities are currently under attack in this country,” while 22 percent disagreed, 19 percent held neither view and 5 percent did not know.
• A plurality — 39 percent — agreed with the statement: “White people are currently under attack in this country,” while 38 percent disagreed, 19 percent had neither view and 4 percent did not know.
In separate questions, the poll found scant support for the “alt-right” (6 percent), white nationalism (8 percent) and neo-Nazism (4 percent.)
“Let’s remember, there are nearly 250 million adults in the United States, so even small percentages likely represent the beliefs of many millions of Americans,” said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at U.Va.
The pollsters surveyed 5,360 adults online from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. Ipsos said the survey has a “credibility interval” of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points. In some instances responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding. The sample had 2,255 Democrats, 1,915 Republicans and 689 independents.
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