Goucher Poll Reveals Racial Divide in Maryland

Seventy percent of African-Americans believe statues commemorating the Confederacy should be removed from public lands. Only 38 percent of whites feel the same way.

Whites and African-Americans generally agree on the state of race relations in Maryland, but when it comes to individual issues, a divide emerges, according to a poll released Thursday.

For example, the poll found 59 percent of African-Americans and 61 percent of whites agree that race relations in Maryland have gotten worse in the past few years.

But when it comes to Confederate statues and symbols, 70 percent of African-American respondents believed they should be removed compared with 38 percent of whites.

The results were part of the Goucher Poll, which surveyed 671 Marylanders between Sept. 14 and Sept. 17. The margin of error was plus/minus 3.8 percent.

The poll also showed that 79 percent of African-Americans agree that “racial minorities face discrimination on the job or at work in Maryland.” Only 55 percent of whites agree with the statement. Twenty percent of African-Americans agree that “people of all races receive equal treatment by the police in your community.” Among whites, the figure is 48 percent. And 31 percent of African-Americans agreed that “white supremacists groups should be allowed to hold rallies on public grounds in Maryland.” Among whites, the figure is 49 percent.

The poll also asked respondents about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Immigration, the federal policy that shields children who were brought to this country illegally from deportation.

Sixty-five percent of respondents said undocumented immigrants should be given a path to citizenship, if they meet certain requirements, according to the poll.

The poll also found 20 percent believed undocumented immigrants should be given a path to legal resident status, but not citizenship; and 11 percent believed undocumented immigrants should be identified and deported.

In light of the string of dangerous hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, 69 percent of respondents have “a lot” or “some” confidence in the state to handle a major natural disaster.

The poll also found that 69 percent of Marylanders believe the severity of storms is related to climate change, and 59 percent believe climate change is the result of human activity.

Conversely, 2 percent of respondents do not believe climate change exists.

The poll asked respondents about plans for an offshore wind project off the coast of Ocean City, which was approved in May. Some have expressed concern that the turbines could be ugly enough to scare off tourists.

Eleven percent say the turbines would make them “less likely” to vacation in Ocean City, and 12 percent say it would make them “more likely.”  Three-quarters of Maryland residents said that seeing wind turbines on the horizon would “make no difference” to them.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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