Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Some fascinating results from a Daily Kos poll

Daily Kos has published tables summarizing the results of a phone poll among self-identified Republicans taken in January 2010. Some of the results are predictable enough: Most believe that or are at least unsure if Barack Obama is a "socialist" (a term prone to incorrect interpretation, of course) and a racist who wasn't born in the US and who "wants the terrorists to win" (whatever that means). I pretty much expected to see results like that, despite many people telling me that the images of people yelling precisely those things on TV are a media distortion. The poll numbers seem to suggest that at least a very large proportion of self-identified Republicans actually believe those ideas or are at the very least open to them.

But what is interesting is to see a quantification across different demographic and geographic slices of the forms of anti-gay sentiment among those responding to these poll questions. Three-quarters do not think people like me and my partner should be permitted to be married. Two-thirds don't believe we should enjoy any Federal or state benefits (the same enjoyed by straight people) at all, although sadly the poll did not include a follow-up question regarding whether or not gay people should still be required to pay taxes.

Almost three-quarters don't even think people like my partner should be allowed to teach in public schools. Incidentally, he's a great teacher and much-loved and respected by his students and fellow teachers. But, alas, most Republicans seem to think that his being gay disqualifies him from teaching, his PhD and devotion to teaching notwithstanding.

One other thing jumps out: A majority oppose sex education and even think birth control should be illegal. Now there's a formula for teenage pregnancy if ever I saw one.

Now of course not all Republicans think the way these poll numbers suggest. But the fact remains that most self-identified Republicans seem to. It's small wonder that the GOP members in Congress and across the country in many state legislatures vote the way they do.

Here's the link to the poll: