Pollster Tries Really, Really Hard To Make GOP Seem Racist

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Blake Neff Reporter
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A newly-released poll conducted by Democrat-aligned Public Policy Polling (PPP) appears to have been deliberately designed to ferret out any possible racism among South Carolina’s Republican voters. But the attempt largely seems to have failed.

The poll released Tuesday asks 33 questions, and most of them are basic for just about any poll regarding presidential primaries. Likely Republican primary voters were asked which GOP candidate they favored, how firm they were in their choice, how they viewed each candidate, and so forth. But along with the normal questions were nine that dealt with religious or racial matters. Three of the questions were related to recent political issues: whether the U.S. should block Muslims from entering the country, whether the country should have a national database of Muslims, and whether the Confederate flag should fly on the grounds of South Carolina’s state capitol building.

But other questions appear to have been concocted by PPP in order to look for offensive opinions in the GOP electorate:

  • In general do you think that whites are a superior race, or not?
  • Would you support or oppose banning homosexuals from entering the United States?
  • Would you support or oppose shutting down mosques in the United States?
  • Do you think the religion of Islam should be legal or illegal in the United States?
  • Looking back, do you support or oppose the policy of Japanese Internment during World War II?
  • Are you glad that the North won the Civil War, or do you wish that the South had won?

Notably, these questions were only asked of likely Republican voters, even though likely Democratic primary voters were polled as well. No potentially offensive questions were asked of Democrats at all, in fact.

Without exception, none of the exotic questions listed above resulted in majority support for the “offensive” answer, and typically the response was decisive. Just 29 percent supported shutting down mosques, 25 percent said Islam should be illegal, and a scant 10 percent asserted that whites were a superior race.

PPP may have been rather disappointed with that result, as it mentions it very little in the poll’s two-page press release. The unusual questions are only brought up once, when noting that “religious and racial intolerance pervades” among supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump supporters were the only set of supporters to have a plurality wish the South had won the Civil War, and they were also the only ones to support shutting down mosques in the United States, by a 40-36 margin.

PPP is no stranger to using its polls to look for ways to attack Republicans. In December, the pollster grabbed headlines when it asked voters whether they supported bombing Agrabah (the fictional city in Disney’s Aladdin film), and 30 percent of Republicans said yes.

Incidentally, the poll found that Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continue to hold large leads in their respective primary races. Trump has the support of 35 percent of likely Republican voters, well ahead of both Sens. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] and [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] at 18 percent each, while Clinton leads Sen. Bernie Sanders 55 percent to 34 percent.

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