Winthrop University has released a new public opinion poll about Southern racial and cultural attitudes in the 11 former Confederate states. I’ve included all the interesting results from the White South below. Feel free to look through the data yourself.
This data lines up with everything I have seen elsewhere: 1/3 of Whites support Black Lives Matter, 1/5 support Antifa, 7% support “white supremacy” and about 3% support Neo-Nazism. Meanwhile, 50% support the Confederate flag and monuments, 46% believe White people are under attack in this country and 31% support protecting and preserving White European heritage.
In the other polls I have seen (Washington Post, UVA, Marist), I have noticed a similar breakdown of explicit Whites (6% to 10% of the White population) and implicit Whites (1/3 to 1/2 of the White population). The argument over labels is exaggerated because White Nationalism, Alt-Right and Neo-Nazism all refer to the same stratum of the White population which says it doesn’t believe in racial equality. The only meaningful difference is the intensity of opposition.
The big divide between the hardcore nucleus of explicit Whites and the softer implicit Whites is over the morality of racism. The implicit Whites are willing to say Whites are under attack and White European heritage should be preserved, but they also say in public opinion polls that they believe in racial equality, support racial intermarriage, believe blacks should be allowed to live anywhere and that all races should be treated equally. Surprisingly, there is even a drop off in the number of explicit Whites who are willing to say this which leads me to believe a powerful taboo is at work here.
As for the American Nationalism debate, notice that Confederate monuments and Confederate flag have the same level as support as the Republican Party in the South. In Virginia, Ed Gillespie lost yesterday because the Republican Party is less popular than preserving Confederate monuments. Southern heritage is far more popular than the Alt-Right and nothing is lost by using the Confederate Battle Flag. 7 out of 10 White working class Americans see the Confederate Battle Flag as a Southern pride symbol. The same is true of 4 out of 10 White college educated Americans.
– We should continue to use the Confederate Battle Flag. In fact, it will be easier for Southern Nationalists to capture the Confederate Battle Flag than the American flag.
– We should deemphasize bickering over divisive labels. I really wish all these groups would call themselves “populists” and “nationalists” instead of getting hung up on labels.
– We should incorporate a strong, masculine religious message into our activism.
– The optimistic mood about the economy is purely partisan and an illusion.
– We should continue to challenge weakened taboos.
– We need to talk a lot more about morality.
– We should continue to focus on issues which are already resonating.
What do you think is the most important problem facing the United States of America today? Politicians/Government, 6.8%
Thinking about the current path that our nation is taking, do you think our country is on the right track or headed in the wrong direction? Wrong direction, 55%
How would you rate the condition of the economy of the country as a whole these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad? Fairly good, 65%
Right now, do you think that economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better or getting worse? Getting better, 63%
How would you rate your financial situation today? As excellent, good, only fair, or poor? Good, 48%
Right now, do you think that your financial situation as a whole is getting better or getting worse? Getting better, 60%
Which of the following comes closest to your opinion about what to do with monuments or memorials to Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War? Leave them just as they are, 50%, Move to a museum, 17%, Remove them completely 2%
Which of the following comes closest to your opinion about what to do with statues honoring Confederate war heroes? 48%, leave them just as they are
When you read or hear someone referred to as southern, do you imagine that person to be…
Close to their family 76%
Not Racist 87%
I’d like to get your feelings toward some of our political leaders and other people or groups who are in the news these days. I’ll read the name of a person and I’d like you to rate that person using something we call the feeling thermometer.
Ratings between 50 degrees and 100 degrees mean that you feel favorable and warm toward the person or group. Ratings between 0 degrees and 50 degrees mean that you don’t feel favorable toward the person or group and that you don’t care too much for them.
You would rate the person or group at the 50 degree mark if you don’t feel particularly warm or cold toward the person or group.
If we come to a person or group whose name you don’t recognize, you don’t need to rate that person. Just tell me and we’ll move on to the next one.
Republican Party 52.1
Democratic Party 41
Black Lives Matter 35.4
White Supremacists 6.6
Confederate Flag 49.9
‘Political correctness’ threatens our liberty as Americans to speak our minds. Strongly agree, 34%, Agree, 37%
America must protect and preserve its White European heritage. Strongly agree, 7%, Agree 24%
Marriage should only be allowed between people of the same race. Strongly agree, 4%, Agree, 6%
People of different races should be free to live wherever they choose. Disagree, 2%
White people are currently under attack in this country. Strongly agree, 11%, Agree 35%
All races should be treated equally. Disagree, 1%
Racial minorities are currently under attack in this country. Strongly disagree, 11%, Disagree 29%
America was founded as an explicitly Christian nation. 18% Strongly agree, 37% agree
Do you feel that generations of slavery and discrimination do or do not make it difficult for Blacks to work their way out of the lower class? Strongly do not, 42%
How important would you say religion is in your own life: Very important, Fairly important, or Not very important? Very important, 56%