Donald Trump hasn’t gotten a lot of great news out of polls this year — or from the midterm elections either, for that matter. Even though the gap on his job-approval numbers has narrowed a bit, it’s still underwater heading into the presidential election cycle. However, NPR warns Democrats that culture may still exist upstream of politics in 2020, and their latest poll shows the electorate firmly in Trump’s camp on one key issue — political correctness:
Heading into the 2020 Democratic primaries, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll has a warning for Democrats: Americans are largely against the country becoming more politically correct.
Fifty-two percent of Americans, including a majority of independents, said they are against the country becoming more politically correct and are upset that there are too many things people can’t say anymore. Only about a third said they are in favor of the country becoming more politically correct and like when people are being more sensitive in their comments about others.
That’s a big warning sign for Democrats heading into the 2020 primaries when cultural sensitivity has become such a defining issue with the progressive base.
“If the Democratic Party moves in a direction that is more to its base on this issue, it suggests independents are going to be tested to stay with the Democrats electorally,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.
The disconnect between Democrats and everyone else is profound on this issue. A majority of Democrats (55%) want the US to become more politically correct; the poll question uses that specific term, in fact. Only a third of independents feel the same way, with a solid majority resenting the PC drift (53%). It goes without saying that MAGA Nation, aka the GOP, opposes creeping PC by a whopping 14/76. Those numbers largely hold up in the gender demos of each party, too. Democrats don’t get much help on ethnic demos, either. African-Americans are the most supportive of expanding PC culture, but only by a slight majority, 52/36. Latinos are even more opposed than political independents, 37/59, and are even more opposed to it than whites (33/56).
The regional demos are a little more surprising. No one will be shocked to see the South having the highest level of opposition to increased political correctness (31/58), but the Northeast is almost as adamant (34/52). The West has the highest level of PC tolerance, but still has a plurality opposed (40/47), while the Midwest nearly matches them (42/48). There seems to be little ground on which to promote political correctness in the upcoming election, and Democrats should expect Trump to make this a big cultural issue again in the next cycle.
That attack will be tempered by voter perceptions of Trump and his impact on politics, of course. Seventy percent say that civility has declined since his election with little difference between political affiliations, although blame is mixed. Overall, respondents split responsibility between Trump (35%) and the media (37%). The political demos on this question perform as expected, but indies also give a slight edge to the media on this point (38%, with 32% blaming Trump). If Democrats should be warned on political correctness, perhaps the media should take a hint on civility, too. Or at least Jim Acosta might.
So how can Democrats take the political-correctness issue off the table? There’s only one man for the job, and you know who he is.