Texans surveyed in a UT/Texas Tribune poll out this week agree discrimination’s a problem. But they disagree on who’s the target of it. People of color made the list, but James Henson, co-director of the poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at University of Texas at Austin, said some of the respondents believe whites are victims of discrimination.
From Henson’s interview…
Who views whites as victims of discrimination: In the overall sample, 39 percent said there was “a lot” of discrimination against whites. Fifty-seven percent said “not very much” or “not at all.” The key really is looking at the subgroups. Move to the right side of the political spectrum and look at either self-declared conservatives or people who identify with the tea party, you find that Christians and whites are suddenly at or near the top of the scale of perceived discrimination. And that’s the opposite of what you get from center to left.
Do the views of tea partiers surveyed differ greatly from moderate Republicans? If you look at the tea party as a subgroup and then compare it to Republicans overall, the tea party does seem a bit more focused on racial discrimination against whites than Republicans overall. Now the Republican number is still interestingly high in comparison to other groups. So if you look at Republicans overall, which is going to include a chunk of these tea party identifiers, Christians are still the first group among Republicans, then transgender people, Muslims, gays and lesbians score somewhat higher before you get to whites. Statistically, gays and lesbians and whites are seen as experiencing the same amount of discrimination.
Texans on gay marriage: You’ve got about 66 percent support among Democrats for gay marriage. And you’ve got 60 percent opposition to gay marriage among Republicans. So it’s divided and divided through a partisan lens. Making it difficult for political leaders in the state as opinion shifts slowly towards more acceptance of gay marriage, but more slowly among Republicans than among Democrats and independents.
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