Poll: Overwhelming disapproval for toppling of Silent Sam

RALEIGH – On Wednesday the Civitas Institute released a statewide poll in which 70 percent of likely voters disapprove of the toppling of Silent Sam, a Confederate monument, by protestors at the University of North Carolina on August 20.

Total approval sat at 22 percent, while 9 percent stated they were unsure or refused to answer the question.

The exact text of the question read:

As you may know, protestors recently toppled a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier, known as Silent Sam, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Do you approve or disapprove of the crowd toppling the Silent Sam statue?

— Total Approve: 22 percent

— Total Disapprove: 70 percent

— Strongly approve: 12 percent

— Somewhat approve: 10 percent

— Somewhat disapprove: 16 percent

— Strongly disapprove: 54 percent

— Unsure/Refused: 9 percent

“The opinion of likely voters on the specific instance of Silent Sam is overwhelming disapproval.” said Civitas President Donald Bryson. “While many still favor the legal removal of Confederate monuments and statues, the actions of the protesters are a step too far for most in the Tar Heel State.”

While seven-in-10 voters disapprove of the toppling of Silent Sam, ideologically, only self-identified very liberal voters have a net approval of the actions of the Silent Sam protesters. Opinion in the Raleigh-Durham market, where the protests took place, is virtually unchanged from the state as a whole.

Voters were then asked:

And, regardless of your feelings regarding the Silent Sam statue, do you favor or oppose legally removing Confederate monuments and memorials?

— Total Favor: 39 percent

— Total Oppose: 50 percent

— Strongly favor: 26 percent

— Somewhat favor: 13 percent

— Somewhat oppose: 10 percent

— Strongly oppose: 40 percent

— Unsure/Refused: 10 percent

A slim majority of voters disapprove of removing Confederate monuments under law. However, self-identified moderates, somewhat liberals, senior citizens, and voters in the Raleigh-Durham media market disapprove of the Silent Sam toppling but favor the removal of Confederate monuments.