Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Updated: New poll exposes even bigger gaps

REsults from the new ABC/Fusion poll show the breadth of the gap between R and D:
• Among all adults, 53 percent think women have fewer opportunities than men in the workplace. But that ranges from 68 percent of Democrats to 38 percent of Republicans, a difference of 30 percentage points. Comparing the most unlike groups, liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, it's 76 vs. 35 percent.

• Forty-one percent overall think nonwhites have fewer opportunities than whites in society. Fifty-six percent of Democrats say so, as do 62 percent of liberal Democrats (more than the number of nonwhites themselves who say so, 51 percent). Among Republicans that dives to 25 percent.

• Forty-three percent of Americans say it would be a good thing if more women were elected to Congress - but the range here is from six in 10 Democrats and liberals alike to just 26 percent of conservatives and 23 percent of Republicans. Instead two-thirds or more in these latter two groups say it makes no difference to them.

• Just 23 percent overall say it would be a good thing if more nonwhites were elected to Congress; 73 percent instead say it makes no difference to them. Seeing this as a good thing peaks at 50 percent among liberal Democrats (far more, in this case, than the number of nonwhites themselves who say so, 29 percent). Among conservative Republicans, it's 5 percent.

Really, Republicans? You think having a mere handful of non-white (or non-male) Congressional representatives is a good thing? Well, of course they do, because as Straight Christian White Men, they believe their role is to rule.  And the rest of us aren't capable or necessary. Our role is to submit.

Kevin K points out in the comments that how the question is asked makes a difference. So I looked that up:
If more [ITEM] were elected to the U.S. Congress, do you think that would be a good thing, a bad thing or does it make no difference to you? Do you feel that way strongly, or somewhat? (ITEM = women, or non-whites)
When queried on women, 43% think it would be a good thing, 4% a bad thing, and 53% don't care. For non-whites, 23% think it's a good thing, 3% a bad thing, and 73% don't care.

Of those who think it's a good thing for more women to be elected: 60% of Democrats feel that way, only 23% of Republicans.

Of those who think it's a good thing for more non-whites to be elected: 50% of Democrats feel that way, only 5% of Republicans.

So what this says is that the affirmative response (it would be a good thing if Congress looked more representative) is more a Democratic than a Republican value.

Now, obviously the majority of those who don't think it's a "good thing" actually don't care (one of the options in the question).  They don't see a problem with a Congress filled with straight white men, most of whom are millionaires.

 But some of them admit that they think it's a bad thing. Check it out: 4% of people polled think it would be a BAD THING if more women were elected to Congress. And I'm going to make a bet (which I cannot check because the primary data aren't provided) that those 4% are not Democrats.


Kevin K. said...

Whoa! Only Repbulicans get called to task. If this poll is correct 71% of non whites and fifty percent of liberals don't think electing non whites is a good thing. Maybe a problem with the poll questions?

Kevin K said...

Having looked at the numbers and questions the answers seem to reflect the American emphasis on individualism. I suspect that the 40% of liberals who don't think it is a "good thing" to elect more women were probably thinking of Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin, when they answered. Conservatives were probably thinking of Nancy Pelosi or Hilary Clinton. In both instances partisan politics probably influenced the decision. This would explain why the majority skewed to the neutral stance.

A good question would be whether you 1) want your party to cultivate more female or minority candidates for office and 2) would you vote for these candidates.

dr.primrose said...

Good article in today's N.Y. Times - A [Republican] War on the Poor.

"So what's this all about? One reason, the sociologist Daniel Little suggested in a recent essay, is market ideology: If the market is always right, then people who end up poor must deserve to be poor. I'd add that some leading Republicans are, in their minds, acting out adolescent libertarian fantasies. 'It's as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now,' declared Paul Ryan in 2009.

"But there's also, as Mr. Little says, the stain that won't go away: race.

"In a much-cited recent memo, Democracy Corps, a Democratic-leaning public opinion research organization, reported on the results of focus groups held with members of various Republican factions. They found the Republican base 'very conscious of being white in a country that is increasingly minority' — and seeing the social safety net both as something that helps Those People, not people like themselves, and binds the rising nonwhite population to the Democratic Party. And, yes, the Medicaid expansion many states are rejecting would disproportionately have helped poor blacks.

"So there is indeed a war on the poor, coinciding with and deepening the pain from a troubled economy. And that war is now the central, defining issue of American politics."