Presidential Campaign

Poll: Democrats evenly split on reparations

Greg Nash

Democrats are roughly evenly split on the issue of reparations for descendants of slaves, a major shift from five years ago when they opposed reparations by about 30 points, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

The survey found 34 percent of Democratic respondents support the idea, compared to 37 percent opposed. Reparations are more popular among younger Democrats, according to the survey: Democrats age 45 and older oppose reparations by a 13-point margin, while those younger than 45 support them by 8 points. Black Democrats are also more likely than not to back the idea.

{mosads}Democratic views on race in general have shifted over the past five years, the poll says. In 2014, 32 percent of Democrats agreed that slavery’s historical impact was a factor in black Americans’ lower average modern wealth levels, a share that has now reached 53 percent. Fifty-four percent of respondents in 2014 said discrimination was a major contributor to inequality, compared to 68 percent in 2019.

Democrats have become increasingly likely to believe black Americans have to contend with racial discrimination while buying houses, trying to take out loans, getting an education and dealing with the police, according to the survey.

The portion of Republicans who reportedly support reparations has also increased slightly, to about 13 percent.

Several Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed the idea of at least studying a reparations program, with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introducing legislation to commission such a study.

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