Politics & Government

How does NC feel about NFL kneeling, taking down Confederate monuments?

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It all started with sitting down during the anthem, which no one noticed at first. Here's how quarterback Colin Kaepernick's anthem protest turned into a pivotal movement for the NFL and its players.

A majority of North Carolinians don’t agree with a comment made by President Donald Trump that NFL players refusing to stand during the national anthem should be fired.

But most North Carolina residents think Confederate monuments should remain standing as they are, according to the latest poll from Elon University.

The poll, titled “Opinion of North Carolina Voters on State Issues,” also covered presidential approval, efforts to appeal the Affordable Care Act and the effect of climate change on the North Carolina coast. Households across the state were selected at random for the survey, conducted by a computer-assisted telephone interviewing lab on the Elon campus.

Nearly matching the poll’s 58 percent disapproval rate for how Trump is conducting his job, 59 percent of voters said Confederate monuments should stay where they are and not be removed. That makes for a 2-to-1 margin, with 29 percent of voters saying such monuments should be taken down.

The results showed 88 percent of Republicans believe the monuments should remain in place, compared with 36 percent of Democrats. And though young voters are less likely to say Confederate monuments should stay where they are, 54 percent of millennials said they should. To break that down by race, 69 percent of white voters said the monuments should remain, compared with 26 percent of black voters.

Confederate monuments on state property are something NC residents feel passionately about -- on both sides of the issue. They voice their opinions on the Capitol grounds in Raleigh, where several monuments stand

Trump churned discussion on national anthem protests at a recent political rally, when he said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now? Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

A clear majority of people polled (63 percent) disagreed with the president, while 30 percent agreed.

There were distinct differences of opinion on the NFL question, based on the race, age, gender and location of the voters. People who are younger, female, black or from urban areas are more likely to disagree with Trump’s stance, the report said. Those who are older, male, white and from rural areas more likely sided with the president.

“Few emerging issues provide such a stark reflection of partisan and cultural divides as does the NFL protest controversy,” Jason Husser, director of the Elon University Poll and assistant professor of political science, said in the report. “While a majority of North Carolina voters disagree with the president that NFL players who protest should be fired, white voters were twenty times more likely than African American voters to agree with (the) president and Republicans were almost three times more likely to agree than were Democrats.”

As for how likely it is that climate change will negatively effect the N.C. coast in the next 50 years, 47 percent said very likely, 29 percent said somewhat likely and 18 percent said not at all likely.

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