A recent survey found that when it comes to supporters of President Donald Trump, the majority of those in the western region of the United States don’t feel comfortable vocalizing their opinion.
Between November 28 and December 4, a poll conducted on behalf of NPR and PBS NewsHour surveyed 1,075 adults about their opinions on America’s political climate. Among the questions asked was whether respondents felt they could speak their mind freely.
The difference between Trump’s supporters that felt they could speak freely and those that felt they couldn’t was only one percentage point, with a 48 to 47 split of people responding that they couldn’t speak freely. However, when grouped into four regions of the United States – the Northeast, Midwest, South and West – the gap widened.
The president’s supporters who lived in the South felt most comfortable speaking their mind, with 50 percent of respondents answering “yes.” Only 45 percent felt uncomfortable vocalizing their opinions and five percent were unsure.
However, it was a different story in the western region of the United States. Of the Trump supporters surveyed, 54 percent responded that they didn’t feel comfortable speaking their mind freely, making it the only response to surpass 50 percent. Only 42 percent of those surveyed said they could voice their opinions, the lowest percentage out of all the regions, and four percent were unsure.
Trump supporters in the Northeast were the least certain about whether they could speak freely and nine percent of people responded that they were unsure. In the Northeast, 48 percent felt comfortable speaking out, the second largest percentage, and 43 percent answered that they did not feel free to speak their mind.
With regard to speaking their mind, the Midwest had the slimmest difference as to those who felt comfortable and those who didn’t. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed felt they could freely speak their mind, compared to the 45 percent that said they couldn’t. Eight percent were unsure.
As for Republicans as a whole, 54 percent responded that they couldn’t speak freely. That number decreased for Republican men to 52 percent but increased to 55 percent for Republican women.
Both sides of the aisle were surveyed and when it came to political affiliation and gender, those feelings of being able to or prohibited from speaking out flip-flopped for Democrats.
Forty-six percent of Democrats responded that they couldn’t speak their mind freely. Unlike Republican men who felt more confident than the overall number of Republicans, Democratic men felt less secure voicing their opinions with 50 percent responding that they couldn’t speak their mind.
While the majority of Republican women felt they couldn’t speak freely, 51 percent of Democratic women felt that they could, two percentage points higher than the overall number of Democrats that felt they could speak their mind openly.
Some Republicans have shared the sentiment that they aren’t granted the same space to voice their opinions as those with more liberal opinions. However, the poll found that regardless of locale, gender or party affiliation, there is no vast majority of adults that feel comfortable speaking their mind.