It seems the party of the Clintons and Kennedys has had a belated moral awakening, just in time for the Trump presidency. Coincidentally, a plurality of Republicans says it *is* acceptable to vote for a candidate who’s behaved immorally behind closed doors. The party of the Christian right and the Moral Majority has suddenly grown much more chill about character.
What are the odds?
Before you ask, yes, members of both parties overwhelmingly view adultery as immoral, with 92 percent of Republicans and 89 percent of Democrats saying so. Even if you don’t believe the very worst about Bill Clinton, i.e. the Juanita Broaddrick allegations, Democrats are still hypocrites here in terms of Bill’s philandering. Meanwhile, the numbers on the acceptability of divorce have Dems splitting 77/23 in favor versus GOPers almost even at 52/48. If you’re going to be a Republican in the Age of Trump, the only way to resolve that cognitive dissonance is to conclude that personal morals are irrelevant to fitness for public office. And so:
On the specific question of divorce, Republicans and conservatives are the only two groups in which fewer than 60 percent say the practice is moral. If you can’t understand how we ended up with the thrice-married playboy in a primary in which most of the alternatives had been married to their wives for decades, just see above. The personal is no longer political, even for some devout Christian conservatives.
Here’s another question on which there’s, shall we say, room for improvement. Question: Is interracial marriage morally acceptable or unacceptable?
All three partisan groups overwhelmingly view it as moral but there’s double-digit opposition in each and more than a quarter of Republicans object. I’m tempted to blame that on grandma and grandpa but among the 65+ age group the moral/immoral split on interracial marriage is 82/18, essentially identical to overall public opinion. Another interesting disparity: Because “Republicans” and “Trump voters” overlap so substantially, their numbers in poll questions typically do too. But not here. Although just 72 percent of GOPers say interracial marriage is morally acceptable, 81 percent of Trump voters do. If YouGov’s data is correct, there’s some small but meaningful group of Republicans who *didn’t* vote for Trump who are not keen on the races mixing.
One more for you. This is a pleasant surprise for an animal-lover. The blue bar is “morally acceptable,” the green bar is “morally unacceptable”:
I would have bet cash money that a rural, blue-collar party like the GOP would support sport-hunting, if not killing animals for their fur. But both parties oppose both practices and it’s not particularly close. Republican women are the secret weapon here, with fully two-thirds opposed to hunting for sport and 78 percent opposed to using animals for fur. But even Republican men are essentially evenly split at 48/52 and 54/46, respectively. In none of the major demographics tested does hunting for sport draw a majority; the closest it comes is a 49/51 divide among Trump voters. There’s just not much support for the practice outside of, ah, the president’s “wildlife protection” board.
In lieu of an exit question, here’s a leftover from Friday about the moral equation in Stormygate. YouGov polled that subject too and found what you’d expect: Republicans and Trump voters overwhelmingly believe it’s a matter of very little importance while Democrats differ mainly on whether it’s of “great importance” or “some importance.” I wonder if the calculus changes on the right if what Daniels’s lawyer says here is true, that something unspecified happened during Trump’s presidency, not just before.
“Is there anything in the litany of accusations — you would call them facts — that surround this case that happened while Donald Trump was President?”
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) March 16, 2018