First Trumpmania, now this. I don’t know who conservatives are anymore.
On a straight-up question about whether people view New York City favorably or unfavorably, Republicans split 54/35. Huh. I wonder what those numbers would look like if you could somehow control for the “solidarity effect” of 9/11. Here’s another surprising result, probably with a similar explanation. When people are asked whether NYC is more, less, or as “American” as other places, not only do a clear majority of Republicans say “more” or “as,” there are actually more Republicans who say so than independents.
Again, there’s probably some small small but significant 9/11 effect there. It’s hard to deny a city’s “American-ness” when it’s perennially one of the two top targets for America’s jihadi enemies.
Rest easy, though, Cruz fans: This is a national poll. Iowa and the SEC states are, I’m guessing, firmly part of the minorities in both data sets above. Also, Republicans remain far more likely to see places like New York as “real America” than less populated parts of the country. Forty-two percent of GOPers say small towns are most like “real America” and 24 percent say so of rural areas. Just 13 percent combined say so of big cities or suburbs. On the flip side, when you ask which areas are least like “real America,” big cities win going away among Republicans with 58 percent. According to the 2010 census, fully 80.7 percent of America’s population lives in urban areas versus 19.3 percent who live in rural areas. What a strange place “real America” is, to have so few real Americans.
There’s one other strange result in this poll. When people are asked if they’ve ever lived in or visited NYC, the partisan group that’s most likely to say yes is … Republicans. Fifty-six percent of GOPers say so versus 52 percent of independents and 50 percent of Democrats. I’m chalking that up to margin-of-error differences in a poll with smallish subsamples, but it’s fascinating to speculate about why it might conceivably be true. Maybe, because Democrats are more likely to live in cities generally, they have less curiosity about NYC than rural-dwelling Republicans do and therefore are less likely to plan a trip? If you live in farm country and decide that you’re going to take a vacation to a big American city, New York’s probably at or near the top of your list. If you live in, say, Miami, maybe you’re less inclined to seek out other cities for vacation. That’s the best I can do for a theory.
If you missed it last week, read Kevin Williamson on why Ted Cruz’s minor “New York values” demagoguery is actually silly shortsighted politics for a would-be national leader.