South Carolina voters made history on Nov. 4 when they elected Tim Scott to represent them in the U.S. Senate. But questions in an exit poll conducted in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Spartanburg have left some people wondering how much things have changed after all.
Respondents were asked whether they agree or disagree with statements like "Blacks are getting too demanding in their push for equal rights" or “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder, they could be as well off as whites.”
One woman told WSPA that she initially thought the survey was a joke. It was not.
According to Clemson University political scientist David Woodard, it was meant to "take advantage of a political moment of Sen. Tim Scott's election as the first African-American from a southern state since reconstruction” and was "not meant to be provocative." But according to Paul White Jr., a University of South Carolina doctoral candidate who partnered with Woodard on the project, people on both the left and the right were offended.
Earlier this year, Woodard was at the center of another racially-tinged controversy. When A.D. Carson, an African-American student at Clemson, began a "See the Stripes" campaign that calls for the university to acknowledge its racial history, Woodard accused him of fascism.
Woodard appeared to be surprised by voters' reaction to the exit poll.
“We do this every day. We didn't think too much about it until we got it out in the field and saw that there was some reaction,” he said.
Woodard and White plan to publish their findings in January.
Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.
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(Photo: WSPA News 7)