Monday, June 22, 2015
Most voters agree that racial identity should be based on birth, not preference, but black voters are less critical than others of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who identifies as black who recently resigned from her post at the NAACP.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% of Likely U.S. Voters believe Dolezal was being deceitful by claiming she was black. Just 13% disagree, while 23% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
However, while most white (65%) and other minority voters (68%) believe Dozelal was being deceitful, just 46% of black voters agree.
In fact, 52% of black voters think Dolezal should have stayed in her position as President of a Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a view shared by just 20% of whites and 32% of other minority voters. Majorities of the latter two groups think she should have resigned from her post.
Among all voters, 56% agree with Dolezal’s decision to resign, while 25% think she should have stayed in the position. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure.
Most voters (65%) believe that racial identity should be based on birth rather than preference. Just 14% think it should be determined by preference, but another 21% are not sure.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of white voters and 62% of other minority voters think racial identity is determined by birth, a view shared by 51% of black voters. A quarter of black and other minority voters think it should be determined by preference.
The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on June 18 and 21, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Americans still believe most of their fellow countrymen aren’t racist but think race relations in this country have taken a decided turn for the worse.
Voters of all ages agree that racial identity should be determined by birth, not preference, but those under 40 are twice as likely as their elders to share the latter view. Younger voters are also far less likely to believe Dolezal should have given up her post at the NAACP.
Republicans feel more strongly than Democrats and voters not affiliated with either party do that racial identity is determined by birth and that Dolezal was being deceitful by claiming she was black. Democrats are far less likely than the others to think Dolezal should have stepped down from her job.
Forty percent (40%) of voters who believe racial identity should be determined by preference still think Dolezal was being deceitful about her race, but that compares to 74% who think racial identity should be determined by birth.
A 2011 survey found that 44% of voters had a favorable opinion of the NAACP. Forty-six percent (46%) offer an unfavorable opinion of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.
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