On the Sept. 11 edition of CBS’ Face the Nation, Jamelle Bouie of Slate magazine took on the controversial subject of Hillary Clinton’s statement at a fundraiser that half of Trump supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables,” and found that statistically, much of what Clinton said was absolutely correct.
At an LGBT fundraiser last Friday, Clinton gave a speech calling out the number of Trump supporters who tend to indulge in antisocial behavior:
‘To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.
‘And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.’
This led to a virtual storm of admonishments and even a response ad from Donald Trump and a response ad from Clinton, but statistics say that the Democratic nominee isn’t far off the mark.
According to Jamelle Bouie, looking at the actual polling data shows that, in fact, Trump supporters really do tend to be racist, homophobic, sexist, and xenophobic.
Bouie is the chief political correspondent for Slate magazine and a political analyst for CBS News. On Sunday’s Face the Nation, Bouie shared some rather distressing statistics, and for the most part, they back up the Democratic nominees’ claims.
In a discussion on the show with panel Peggy Noonan, Bouie, and host John Dickerson analyzed Hillary Clinton’s statement and how it might affect her campaign for president.
Noonan, columnist for the Wall Street Journal, said the statement was a gaffe, and would be a memorable moment that would stick in the minds of voters, similar to Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” and President Barack Obama’s “bitter clingers.”
Bouie analyzed the comments from a different angle, he said, and decided to look at the statistics and see if Clinton’s claims held any truth.
Bouie told the panel:
‘So, I’m inclined to see it as strategy and not so much as a gaffe because when I heard the remark, my first question was: Well, is this true? Right? Regardless of how it sounds, what it looks like, what is the case about Donald Trump supporters?
‘And if you break down the numbers and you look at the RealClearPolitics average, and it gives Trump 43 percent of the registered voters, there’s about 30, 31 million people.
‘Compare that to polls show 65 to 70 percent of all Republicans who say that Barack Obama either wasn’t born in the United States, or is a Muslim.
‘You look at pilot data from the American National Election Study, and it shows upward of 40 percent of Republicans saying things like blacks are more violent, blacks are lazier, Muslims are more violent, Muslims are lazier.
‘Among Trump supporters in particular, 60, 50, 70 percent of them agree with statements that political scientists categorize as being explicitly racist.
‘So I’m looking at Clinton’s statement, and half, which is about 31 million people again, doesn’t really seem that out of bounds.
‘Forty to 50 percent of Republicans, I would say looking at the full spectrum of data, agree with beliefs that we would categorize as explicitly prejudiced.
‘So, regardless of whether or not Clinton needs to walk it back or not, I think she’s being correct and accurate.
Although Clinton feels that she shouldn’t have damned an entire “half” of Trump supporters to the “basket of deplorables,’ but statistics show that a good many of them are racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic. What remains is left as a value judgment, and whether that kind of behavior is considered “deplorable.” The majority of Americans would say yes.
The video from the segment is below:
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