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Book bans, poll analysis on trans rights ramp up in GOP primary battle

Book banned titles. May have a stance on LGBTQ issues A company’s business is affected or draw Rage of Right. With Republicans almost universally telling us that they want 2024 candidates who will “challenge established assumptions,” it’s clear that race and gender issues are in the campaign spotlight.

Here we look at what might be driving Republican interest in these issues, whether they’re popular, and how, on what to actually do, the party shows some division between MAGA Republicans and the rest.

For many Republicans, there is a pushback against the perceived overreach of today’s diversity and inclusion efforts: 82% of Republicans say efforts to promote transgender rights in the United States are going “too far.” (Most independents, for their part, say the same.)

And then two-thirds of Republicans say efforts to promote racial diversity in the United States are “going too far.”

by ethnic-diversity-group.png

On that question, Republicans differ sharply from Democrats, most of whom say such efforts to promote racial diversity “don’t go far enough.” (Also it’s a distinction that can divide many policies in today’s politics.)

But on the details of how to “challenge”, there is some division within the party. Starting with how to deal with private company positions.

About half of Republicans say, in general, they are less likely to patronize a business that expresses support for LGBTQ rights. This is especially true of MAGA Republicans.

Buy from biz-by-party.png

But then the GOP has a different say over the role of government — and whether it should penalize, attract, or do anything about these businesses that take a stand on LGBTQ issues.

You’ll find that most Republicans generally say that their state should do neither—perhaps surprising, given the more general hands-off views toward private business we’ve seen Republicans voice for generations.


But there is some difference between the MAGA group and the rest of the team.

Obviously non-MAGA Republicans would have their state governments do nothing, but nearly three times as many MAGA Republicans would have their state governments penalize such businesses.


Then there is the issue of book banning, part of the debate over what can and cannot be taught in schools.

It turns out that banning books on issues of race and history is really unpopular across party lines, with large majorities of Republicans opposing it. whether a book deals with race, or slavery; or criticizing US history, a large and bipartisan majority of Americans say it shouldn’t be banned in schools.

This is also true for parents.



Underpinning commonality: Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, feel that when students learn about racial history, it at least encourages an understanding of what others have been through.


However, approval of book bans increases when their content is directed toward LGBTQ people: Half of Republicans would accept a ban on books with LGBTQ characters, and support for a ban also increased among Democrats in that situation. This helps make the overall public score higher than other items tested on race and history.



Moving from business to transgender athletes in particular, there’s a more general belief in the country that transgender athletes should play on teams of the gender they were born with — and Republicans are especially likely to think so.



This analysis references two separate CBS News/YouGov surveys conducted April 27-29, 2023 and May 2-4, 2023. They were conducted with nationally representative samples of 2,372 and 1,089 US adult residents, respectively, and were weighted by sex, age. Race, and education are based on the US Census American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey, as well as past polls. The April 27-29 study also included an oversample of self-identified Republicans. The margin of error is ±3.1 points for April 27-29 and +-4.5 for May 2-4.



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