US Republicans support culture war – poll
Likely voters in the Republican presidential primaries believe that fighting the culture war is more important than preserving social entitlements by a two-to-one margin, according to a new survey by the Wall Street Journal. The question arose amid speculation that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis might challenge former president Donald Trump for the 2024 nomination.
The survey, conducted last week and published on Friday, showed that 55% of Republican respondents think opposing the “woke ideology in our schools and businesses” is more important than protecting Social Security and Medicare from cuts. Only 27% prioritized preserving the entitlement programs.
Asked if they would support a candidate who pledged to preserve the entitlements as they are, 49% of all voters – Republicans and Democrats alike – said yes.
Pollsters asked the question because Trump criticized DeSantis for supporting cuts to entitlement programs when he was in Congress. The 45th president is seeking the Republican nomination for the 2024 election, while the Florida governor has not officially declared his candidacy. Even so, their supporters have engaged in an online war of words over the past several weeks, which has often taken nasty turns.
While he was a member of the Congressional Freedom Caucus and championed entitlement reform before his gubernatorial election in 2018, DeSantis has since become one of the leading opponents of“woke” policies – from “drag queen story hour” to sex changes for children – which President Joe Biden and his Democrats have framed as non-negotiable human rights.
A hypothetical match-up in the WSJ poll showed Trump at 51% and DeSantis at 38% among likely Republican primary voters. In a potential field of 12 GOP candidates, the former president doubled his lead, coming in at 48% to just 24% for DeSantis, with 13% undecided.
The Journal commissioned the poll from Impact Research and Fabrizio, Lee & Associates. They asked 1,500 registered voters of both parties, including 600 Republican primary voters, between April 11 and April 17.