Quantcast
Connect with us

After Charleston shootings, poll shows Republican presidential hopefuls have a big problem

Published

on

Confederate flag waving on the wind (Shutterstock)

Republican presidential contenders face a dilemma when talking about racial issues after last week’s racially motivated murders at a South Carolina church, as a new poll shows many Republican primary voters are less likely to see the topic as important.

While more than three-quarters of Americans believe race relations must be addressed in the United States, a smaller majority of only about 65 percent of likely Republican primary voters agree, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found. (Graphic: http://link.reuters.com/dun94w)

ADVERTISEMENT

One-third of likely Republican primary voters see race relations as unimportant to some degree, compared to only 9 percent of likely Democratic voters who feel that way.

“There is a tension Republicans are trying to navigate, and they are really stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson.

“You have the majority of the public on one side, but the people who are actually going to vote for them in the primaries are less interested in this particular issue and may have different takes or alternate priorities altogether,” he said.

The poll, carried out after the murder by a white gunman of nine black members of a Bible study group at a Charleston church, also found Democrats were more trusted to deal with race relations by more than a 2-to-1 margin.

The findings illustrate the Republican Party’s challenge in trying to expand its appeal among minorities – crucial if the party is to win the presidency – and could help explain the largely muted response to the Charleston shootings by the party’s 2016 presidential contenders.

ADVERTISEMENT

Around a dozen hopefuls, who must court the white, conservative voters who dominate the party’s primaries, largely steered clear of calls to action or policy prescriptions after the shootings, focusing instead on messages of condolence.

Several Republican presidential contenders and other party leaders did join South Carolina state officials earlier this week in calling for removal of the Confederate battle flag from in front of the State House, seat of the legislature, labeling it an act of healing and unity.

EXPANDING REPUBLICAN APPEAL

Republican National Committee spokesman Orlando Watson noted that call was led by Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley and a prominent black Republican, U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Republican leaders have stepped up and are working hard to address all voter concerns, including those involving race,” he said.

After losing the 2012 presidential election, Republicans had vowed to expand their appeal beyond their shrinking base of white males and reach out to court new supporters among blacks, Hispanics, Asians and the young.

ADVERTISEMENT

But blacks have for decades been the most loyal Democratic voting bloc, a trend only reinforced by the election of President Barack Obama, the first black in the White House.

When Obama won re-election in 2012, Mitt Romney received 6 percent of the black vote. No Republican presidential contender has won more than 12 percent of black votes since President Gerald Ford’s 15 percent in 1976.

The poll found Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton was considered the presidential contender who was best suited to handle the issue of race relations, with 17 percent of all adults and 32 percent of blacks viewing her that way.

ADVERTISEMENT

The top-ranked Republican was retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, the only black Republican in the race. He was seen as best suited by 7 percent of all adults and 6 percent of blacks. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was next, with 6 percent of all adults and 1 percent of blacks viewing him as best suited.

Carson and Bush are among 13 candidates who have formally jumped into the race for the Republican presidential nomination in the November 2016 election.

Some respondents to the poll said the issue of race relations simply took a backseat to more heavily debated topics such as unemployment, crime, education and trade.

“I don’t know if it’s really an election issue, it’s a people issue. Our political leaders can’t change it,” said Alex Jackson, a white Republican who is a student at West Georgia College in Carrolton, Georgia. She rated race relations as “somewhat unimportant.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Mary Wickham, a white Republican in Naperville, Illinois, who also said race relations were “somewhat unimportant”, said she did not see it as an issue in her diverse community and she was much more interested in a candidate’s views on immigration.

“It’s just not a problem here,” she said of racial issues. “We pray together, we stay together.”

The online poll of 1,402 Americans was taken between June 18 and 22, and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percent for all Americans and 6.4 percent for Republican primary voters.

(Editing by Ross Colvin)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trainer for anti-COVID lockdown group caught on camera telling supporters how to break the law

Published

on

A signature-gathering trainer for a Michigan group working to overturn Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's pandemic restrictions has been caught on camera advising the group's supporters on how to break the law.

The Detroit Free Press, which obtained a copy of the video, reports that trainer Erik Tisinger instructed supporters for Unlock Michigan in assorted nefarious practices for illegally collecting signatures.

Among other things, Tisinger told Unlock Michigan backers that it is "super easy" to give misleading answers under oath if they're compelled to testify by a court of law about their activities; that they could leave copies of their petitions with store clerks to collect signatures even though getting signatures without properly witnessing them would be illegal; and that they could trespass on private property to collect signatures even without business owners' permission.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s latest COVID-19 lie is both ‘dangerously misleading and aggressively hypocritical’: analysis

Published

on

In an analysis for the Washington Post this Tuesday, Philip Bump says that President Trump's recent downplaying of the coronavirus' effects on young people is "both dangerously misleading and aggressively hypocritical."

“You know, in some states thousands of people, nobody young — below the age of 18, like nobody — they have a strong immune system. Who knows. You look — take your hat off to the young because they have a hell of an immune system, but it affects virtually nobody," Trump said at a rally in Ohio on Monday.

Bump points out that as Trump spoke, the death toll from the virus approached 200,000 -- a boundary that Trump repeatedly insisted this spring and summer that we probably wouldn’t near. While it's true that the virus affects primarily older people, the notion that “virtually nobody” who is younger has been affected simply isn't true.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Mike Pence’s chief of staff belittles former staffer on MSNBC after she comes out against Trump

Published

on

Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, belittled a former staffer who has now come out against President Donald Trump for his failed response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an NBC News interview, Olivia Troye, who advised Pence on homeland security, counterterrorism and the coronavirus, explained that the main conversation in the White House over the coronavirus was about Trump's image, and not saving Americans.

"He's not actually looking out for you," Troye said. "He's not looking out for these people. He's not looking out for them. He just wants you in that audience so he can have the camera shot of, you know, his fanfare and the people around him. But the truth is, he's putting those lives at risk.”

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE