White Republicans Outlier On Opinions About Race In America


A new Axios-Ipsos survey on race relations a year after the murder of George Floyd shows in detail how there is no such thing as “what white Americans think”, with Republicans and Democrats apparently living in two different worlds.

Why is this important: Such a gap between left and right within America’s racial majority belies the notion of compromise and shows why Congress has been so slow to act.

  • It also helps explain why Donald Trump still has such a hold on the GOP.
  • Watch: Axios race and justice reporter Russell Contreras and policy editor Margaret Talev discuss the results of the “Axios on HBO” poll on HBO and HBO Max.

Details: Black Americans are the most dissatisfied or worried about the status quo on issues ranging from policing to jobs to politics.

  • Overall, white Americans appear to be the most resistant to reform. Asian and Hispanic Americans fall somewhere in between through a battery of questions about views and experiences.
  • But closer examination shows that white Democrats are more closely aligned – and sometimes more change-oriented than – black Americans, while white Republicans are on the other end of the spectrum.
  • Hispanic, Asian American and black respondents are also somewhat divided by party, but with less variation than among whites. There are also less political consequences to their divisions, because there are fewer Republicans in each group and because the populations of these groups are significantly smaller.

In numbers: 57% of White Americans say “The events of the past year have made me realize that there is still a lot of racism in our country”, but that breaks down into 35% of white Republicans – and 93% of Democrats white. By comparison, 80% of black Americans agreed with this view.

  • 87% of white Democrats, but only 19% of white Republicans, say the United States “must continue to make changes to give black Americans the same rights as white Americans.”
  • Almost three-quarters of white Democrats, but only one in five white Republican, say their race gives them an advantage over non-whites.
  • 60% of white Democrats – and only 8% of white Republicans – say last year’s protests against racial injustice have had a positive impact on society.

The big picture: Majorities of all racial and ethnic groups say that the events of the past year prove that there is still a lot of racism in the country. But despite all the protests and discussions, respondents said they felt race relations had actually worsened since this time of last year – and there is little agreement on how to proceed.

  • When asked to name their top three concerns, the most cited topic varied considerably by race and ethnicity.
  • Black Americans most often cite racial justice and discrimination as a major concern, while white respondents place political extremism or polarization at the top. For respondents of Asian American and Hispanic American descent, COVID-19 dominated.
  • 92% of black respondents said there had to be more change before there could be equality between black and white Americans. But only half of white Americans shared this view, compared to 70% of Asian Americans and 65% of Hispanic Americans.

The survey also examined the racial and ethnic disparities around the police and criminal justice system, which Axios’ David Nather unpacked as part of our Hard Truths series.

  • This same split between White Democrats and Republicans can be seen in most of these issues as well.

What they say: “We’re in the midst of these big demographic shifts – we’re at the tipping point right now,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos US Public Affairs. “But in the medium term, our policy is going to be extremely divisive because of this.”

  • “I look at it like, we are seeing a changing of the guard. American society is changing. Our values ​​are changing. There are divisions, but we know where we are going.”
  • “We are moving towards a society that will be much more diverse than it is today and than it was 10 years ago.”

The plot: For all of the talk by U.S. companies about diversity and inclusion in hiring, promotions and retention, relatively low proportions of respondents from all groups said their employers made changes during the year. elapsed to be more just or equitable.

  • Only 18% of Black Americans, 20% of White Americans, 23% of Hispanic Americans, and 35% of Asian Americans said their employers had made such changes.
  • 32% of white Democrats said they saw such changes, but only 11% of white Republicans agreed.

Methodology: This Axios / Ipsos survey was conducted from April 28 to May 4 by KnowledgePanel® from Ipsos. This survey is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,875 adults from the general population aged 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ± 2.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.

About Hector Hedgepeth

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