PR pulse: Only 33% of Americans want confederate statues removed

by | Aug 25, 2017 | Public Relations

In the wake of the recent Charlottesville white-supremacist protests, further ignited by what many considered to be non-supportive comments from President Trump, a slew of commemorative statues of confederate heroes are now under the cultural microscope as movements are underway to have them taken down. But how does the American public really feel about these initiatives?

According to new research from Valient Market Research, only 33 percent of Americans want the removal of Confederate statues from public places.

The full-text of the survey question: “Do you approve of the removal of Confederate statues from public places?” Here are the results, broken into population sectors:

Gender: More men (38 percent) than women (27 percent) want statue removal

Overall, men (38 percent) prefer statue removal at a much higher proportion than women (27 percent). Slightly more women (19 percent) are undecided than men (14 percent).

State of current residence: Former union vs. confederate states

The divide between North and South is clear on this issue when looking at the survey results at the U.S. State level.  Respondents living in former Union States (36 percent) prefer statue removal much higher compared to respondents living in former Confederate States (28 percent) and non-Civil War participating States (27 percent).

Education: College-educated Americans’ opinions almost equally split

Americans with college degrees are almost equally split on this controversial topic. Forty percent prefer statue removal with 38 percent opposing this effort. Americans with a high school degree and some college/university education are strongly opposed to statue removal (48 percent).

Ethnicity: Majority of African-Americans (52 percent) favor statue removal

A 52-percent majority of African-Americans want these statues removed, while just 30 percent of White/Caucasians and 37 percent of Hispanics-Latinos agree. Twenty-two percent of African-Americans are not sure.

Age & Generation: 39 percent of Millennials, only 26 percent of Baby Boomers want removal

Of all five American generations, Generation Y Millennials have the strongest support for statue removal (39 percent) of any generation. Just 26 percent of Baby Boomers and 25 percent of Silent Generation Americans want these statues removed. Overall, older American generations are more confident in their opinions on this topic compared to younger generations.

Political affiliation: Majority of Democrats (52 percent) favor removal, majority of Republicans (60 percent) against removal

Democrats stand alone as the highest political party affiliation group with a majority of its members that support statue removal (52 percent).  Small percentages of Republicans (23 percent) and Independents (21 percent) share this opinion.

The August 2017 Valient Poll is based on data from the Valient Poll monthly online survey conducted monthly by Valient Market Research. A U.S. sample of 1,000 adults were interviewed in an online poll conducted on Friday, August 18, 2017. With a randomized sampling of 1,000 U.S. adults one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- three (3%) percentage points.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter