Readers of this column know that I frequently write about “hot button” issues, issues that have widely varying opinions aired quite vocally in local, state, and national politics. Many of you also know that The Edgefield Advertiser’s website, www.edgefieldadvertiser.com , allows you to comment on those columns; whether you agree or not, your comments truly are welcome.
Not surprisingly, the column I wrote a couple of weeks ago advocating increased gun control, especially for weapons designed to kill people and not wildlife – the weapons used, for example, in the Aurora movie theater murders – has gleaned the most comments so far: 33 comments as of this writing. But how many of us really know what most people here in South Carolina think about some of these “hot button” issues?
One group trying to find out is “Public Policy Polling” based in Raleigh, NC. The PPP conducted a survey earlier this month of 1115 South Carolina voters, and here are some of the results. People who identified as Republican, Democrat, or Independent had differing opinions on some issues; opinions occasionally differed between people who identified as white or as black; other opinions differed depending on the voter’s age. The percentages shown below are overall, across the spectrum.
- “Strongly favor” or “Somewhat favor” recent rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency: 62%.
- Oppose the Confederate Flag on the Capital grounds: 54%.
- Support raising the minimum wage in South Carolina to at least $10.00 per hour: 71%. (This one quite happily surprised me!)
- Increase spending on Public Education in South Carolina: 57%.
- “Strongly agree” or “Somewhat agree” we should invest more in transportation infrastructure in South Carolina: 86%.
- “Strongly agree” or “Somewhat agree” we should expand Medicaid in South Carolina: 62%. (This was the subject of last week’s column.)
- Support requiring a criminal background check of every person who wants to buy a firearm: 89%.
- “Strongly agree” or “Somewhat agree” that there should be a waiting period before purchasing a gun: 77%.
There wasn’t a question that asked, how would you propose to pay the increased costs of those bullets in the first group above? It’s easy to say we should spend more, without asking “instead of what” or looking too deeply into where the money comes from. Nevertheless, the survey pointed out what types of services most voters in South Carolina see as the needing more support from our state government.
As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but everybody is not entitled to his own facts.” Statistics are facts. Opinions differ, as well they should. Let us know about your opinions in the comment section below!