It has been widely reported that businessman Donald Trump’s supporters skew blue-collar and are less likely to have a college degree. But another attribute can be added to the list describing the Trump coalition, at least in South Carolina, according to a new poll: They also tend wish that the South had won the Civil War.
The poll released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling of South Carolina voters shows that 38 percent of Trump supporters in the state wish the Confederacy had won the war compared to 24 percent who are glad the Union prevailed. Trump supporters were also much more likely to support flying the Confederate battle flag at the statehouse and more supportive of making Islam illegal in the United States.
In addition to pointing out the views of Trump supporters toward the South's racially charged history, PPP also found that Trump is well-positioned to win the South Carolina primary Saturday. He finds consistent support across several demographics, including 41 percent of “somewhat conservative” voters, 40 percent of young voters, 38 percent male voters and 35 percent of evangelical voters. The state's Republican electorate is overwhelmingly white.
“Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have lost any support in South Carolina following Saturday night’s debate,” Dean Debnam, the president of PPP, said in a statement. “He has a pretty consistent across-the-board lead with the different segments of the Republican electorate.”
Full SC poll up shortly- one amazing finding- by a 38/24 spread Trump voters wish the South won the Civil War #NotTheOnion
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) February 16, 2016
Of course, the history of the American Civil War is closely entwined with the institution of slavery in the United States. The South, whose antebellum economy relied heavily on enslaved black labor, attempted to secede from the Union after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, fearing a threat to its slave system. South Carolina was the first state to secede. And the war started when local forces fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
Support for the Confederacy hasn’t disappeared in South Carolina and the South in general. Just last year, after a mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, the state decided to remove the Confederate battle flag from the state’s capitol grounds. Pictures of the Charleston gunman before the shooting showed him posing with the flag.