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NPR poll warns Democrats: Most Americans against US becoming more politically correct


Upset over too many things that can't be said anymore

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speak at the Capitol Building on May 16, 2018, in Washington, D.C. A new poll sounded a warning bell to Democrats that most Americans don't want the country becoming more politically correct. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A new poll is sending a big warning to Democrats heading into the 2020 election: Most Americans are dead tired of political correctness and don't want the country headed down that road any further, National Public Radio reported.

The poll — conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Marist — found that 52 percent of Americans, including a majority of independents, are against the United States becoming more politically correct and are upset over how many things people can't say anymore, NPR noted.

Only about a third of respondents said they want the U.S. to further embrace political correctness and like it when people are watching what they say, the outlet added.

NPR said that's "a big warning sign for Democrats heading into the 2020 primaries when cultural sensitivity has become such a defining issue with the progressive base."

"If the Democratic Party moves in a direction that is more to its base on this issue, it suggests independents are going to be tested to stay with the Democrats electorally," Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, told NPR.

Indeed, the fight against political correctness has been a calling card of President Donald Trump.

At the very first Republican presidential debate in 2015, Trump told moderator Megyn Kelly, "I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I've been challenged by so many people, and I don't frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn't have time, either."

Trump echoed that sentiment in a subsequent debate:

Clear divisions

The poll said the majorities of whites, Latinos, Americans over 30, and small city/suburban men agreed with Trump and disdained more political correctness.

As you might expect, the poll said the only groups parting ways with Trump with majorities embracing more political correctness were Democrats, adults under 30, blacks, and small city/suburban women. One of seven Republicans and a third of independents also agreed, the poll also noted.

There's also a big gender divide by place and education. Women who live in small cities or the suburbs say people need to be more sensitive by a 52-to-37-percent margin. But just a quarter of men who live in the same place say so (27 to 57 percent), making for what have to be some very divided dinner tables.

Nearly two-thirds of white men with college degrees said America is becoming too politically correct, the poll indicated, along with about the same percentage of white men without college degrees.

Interestingly, the poll showed that those living in Trump's biggest support region — the south — said they can speak more freely now that he's president by a 50-to-45-percent margin, NPR said, adding that that was the highest percentage of any region.

Lack of civility

Poll respondents from both sides of the political aisle said civility has gotten worse since Trump's election, the outlet said, with 70 percent of Americans overall saying so and nearly two-thirds of Republicans agreeing.

More from NPR:

Roughly two-thirds of Americans also think people overall are less respectful of each other than they were a few years ago. People across party lines agree on this point as well — with 72 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents and 64 percent of Republicans all saying so.

Notably, slightly more people blame the media (37 percent) for the tone in Washington than Trump (35 percent). As between the two parties, 13 percent of people blame Democrats in Congress while 8 percent blame Republicans in Congress. Predictably, there's a partisan divide: About two-thirds of Democrats blame Trump; 58 percent of Republicans, on the other hand, blame the media.
The dynamic of Americans overall faulting the media has become more pronounced since Democrats won the House in November. In the November NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 40 percent blamed Trump and just 29 percent blamed the media.

The outlet said the poll of 1,075 adults was conducted Nov. 28 to Dec. 4 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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