Plurality of Trump supporters in South Carolina wish the South had won the Civil War

Public Policy Polling is out with a new poll showing Donald Trump with a sizable lead in the South Carolina Republican primary with 35 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are tied for second with 18 percent apiece, and John Kasich is in fourth at ten percent.

It should come as no surprise that Trump’s lead is built on the backs of racist nostalgics.

From their summary:

Trump’s support in South Carolina is built on a base of voters among whom religious and racial intolerance pervades. Among the beliefs of his supporters:

-70% think the Confederate flag should still be flying over the State Capital, to only 20% who agree with it being taken down. In fact 38% of Trump voters say they wish the South had won the Civil War to only 24% glad the North won and 38% who aren’t sure. Overall just 36% of Republican primary voters in the state are glad the North emerged victorious to 30% for the South, but Trump’s the only one whose supporters actually wish the South had won.

-By an 80/9 spread, Trump voters support his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. In fact 31% would support a ban on homosexuals entering the United States as well, something no more than 17% of anyone else’s voters think is a good idea. There’s also 62/23 support among Trump voters for creating a national database of Muslims and 40/36 support for shutting down all the mosques in the United States, something no one else’s voters back. Only 44% of Trump voters think the practice of Islam should even be legal at all in the United States, to 33% who think it should be illegal. To put all the views toward Muslims in context though, 32% of Trump voters continue to believe the policy of Japanese internment during World War II was a good one, compared to only 33% who oppose it and 35% who have no opinion one way or another.

Having grown up in a state that was part of the Confederacy, I can imagine a few ways that these views could be spun to make those who hold them seem not-racist: It isn’t about hate, it’s about heritageMy great great grandfather fought for the South, and I’m honoring his memoryBlack people fought for the South too, you know. And I’m sure these figures will be spun in similar fashion in the coming days. After all, we’re talking about a state where 57 percent of people consider the Confederate flag to be a symbol of Southern pride, versus only 33 percent who consider it a symbol of racism. And we’re talking about a region where a majority of citizens don’t believe the Civil War was even about the right to own slaves (it was about states’ rights…to let white people own slaves).

But at the end of the day, we’re left with a situation where a majority of a presidential candidates’ supporters are people who think it’s a shame that the pro-slavery side of the Civil War lost. And that same majority just so happens to support a host of racially objectionable policies that their preferred candidate has proposed.

Also, what was that about 31 percent supporting a ban on homosexuals entering the country? How would you even do that?

In any case, none of this matters, since racism ended when we elected Obama. Right?


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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11 Responses to “Plurality of Trump supporters in South Carolina wish the South had won the Civil War”

  1. BillFromPA says:

    We’ve been vacationing in Myrtle Beach for the last 20 plus years and based on conversations I’ve had in local watering holes there I’m surprised that it’s only a plurality and only of Trump supporters who wished the south won the war.

  2. gacl says:

    “And we’re talking about a region where a majority of citizens don’t believe the Civil War was even about the right to own slaves” Are you seriously claiming that the North’s main goal in fighting the war was to end slavery? Can you cite any mainstream history book that makes such an absurd claim? General Sherman personally owned slaves, Grant’s immediate family owned slaves. Lincoln hated blacks as I said. The idea that they would go to great lengths and risk to end slavery for the benefit of black people is absurd.

    I can cite regular mainstream history books that clearly state that the main precipitating event of secession was political contention over slavery, but the main factor that drove people to take sides in the war, was over the right of secession. Robert E Lee opposed slavery, and clearly wrote that he fought as a loyal son to the sovereign state of Virginia. Lee was very clear that he fought over the right of state sovereignty. You seem to dispute this, which just seems absurd.

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  4. Jon Green says:

    The “War Between States” wasn’t racists vs. not-racists. It was racists vs. so-racist-they-split-off-to-keep-having-slaves. It’s only complicated if you have misgivings about the side you’d have supported had you been there.

  5. Jon Green says:

    Fixed – thanks for the catch!

  6. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Oh, I get it. It’a like the children I taught. “_______ did it, so I can too. They grew out of it.

  7. gacl says:

    Abraham Lincoln made it abundantly clear he was willing to extend slavery indefinitely as long as the Southern states forfeited the right of secession. Post civil war, states like Illinois tried to legally block blacks from flooding their state from the south, which they did anyway. Both North and South were completely racist. China is super racist. Everyone is racist. The way you can dumb down the War Between States to a racist vs not-racist side is absurd. Lincoln himself clearly didn’t want black integration into white society. Many anti-slavery types didn’t want slavery because they didn’t want black people in their society.

    Also, Ron Paul and Rand Paul have more formally sided with the Confederates and opposed Lincoln and the North side of the War Between States. And they articulate their reasoning, which authors like this seem incapable of listening to.

  8. BeccaM says:

    A plurality of Trump voters think the United States of America should be no more.

    Given this is the case, why the f*ck is their guy’s slogan ‘Make America Great Again’?

  9. 1nancy2 says:

    Debbie Downer will do just that. There will be war when ol’ nasty Deb D. does that and it will backfire on her, big time. She is a terrible woman; bought and paid for by the corp$. Fire her from DNC.

  10. goulo says:

    Man, those are pretty creepy statistics indeed.

    Has banning gay people from entering the US been talked about by Republican candidates, and I just missed it? So bizarre.

    PS: typo: “a symbol of Southern price” should have “pride”.

  11. The_Fixer says:

    Well, it’s no surprise that supporters of an inflammatory, nonsense-spouting bully are behind him. Look at what he’s said and the crowds he draws. As appalling as these attitudes are, it’s to be expected, based on what we’ve seen of this extremely long election season.

    I still don’t think Trump has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected. He may get 35-40% of the Republican vote, but there are a large number of people of both parties that are turned off by both what he says and the way he says it. I honestly think that those people, the ones who are turned off by Trumpo the Clown’s manner and substance and looking for an alternative who they consider to be an outsider, would be inclined to vote for Sanders.

    I just hope Sanders does not get shut out of the process by the Clinton machine and Ms. Wasserman-Schultz.

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