A new Winthrop University poll expanded audience to seek the views of residents in 10 other Southern states, as well.
Poll director Scott Huffmon told South Carolina Radio Network the poll found a majority of Republicans surveyed felt the country is headed in the right direction. “Only 33 percent of Republicans see the country headed in the wrong direction,” he said. “Nearly 90 percent of Democrats do.”
Huffmon said that the poll also found Congress has a 70 percent disapproval rating overall. President Trump has a 44-48 approval/disapproval rating among those surveyed.
The poll found differing lines of thought on what to do about Confederate or Segregation-era monuments scattered across the South. A plurality of respondents preferred leaving both Confederate soldiers monuments and individuals who supported racial segregation in place (42 percent and 30 percent, respectively), but roughly half of them thought there should either be a sign explaining the controversy or the monument should be moved to a museum. Only a small percentage believed the monuments should be removed completely (5 percent for Confederate soldiers and 13 percent for segregation figures). Only 13 percent of black callers wanted to remove Confederate monuments completely.
There was a lot more controversy over the traditional Confederate “battle flag.” 37 percent of respondents had either a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” view of the flag, while 46 percent were either “somewhat” or “very” unfavorable. 18 percent said they were either unsure or did not want to answer.
According to the results, white respondents had a slightly more favorable view of the flag (44-38 combining the “favorably” or “unfavorably” categories) while black respondents were against it 73-15.
“The kind of thing we’re still struggling with, with race relations here in the South,” Huffmon said. “That’s why doing these South-wide polls are still important.”
Morethan 960 Southern respondents were contacted for the poll in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The sample size was too small for breakdowns by individual states.
The calls were made to landline and cell phones between Nov. 10-20 and Nov. 26-Dec. 2. The results have a 3.15 percent margin of error for all respondents. See full methodology statement for a note on the odd array of dates.
The Southern states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Results which use all respondents have a margin of error of approximately +/- 3.15 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.