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POLL: Nearly 30 percent of Democratic college students favor banning MAGA hats on campus

Nearly 30 percent of Democratic college students favor banning MAGA hats on campus, according to a new College Fix poll.

The online poll asked 1,000 Democratic and Democratic-leaning college students: Do you favor or oppose your campus banning MAGA (“Make America Great Again”) hats?

Overall, 12 percent responded they strongly favor it, and 15 percent favor it, for a total of 27 percent in favor of banning MAGA hats from their campus.

Conversely, 39 percent responded they oppose banning the hats, and 34 percent strongly oppose banning them. In other words, 73 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning college students oppose banning MAGA hats from their campus.

When looking at the respondents by political affiliation, among students who identify as “strong Democrat,” 16 percent said they strongly favor banning the hats from campus, and 15 percent favor it. On the flip side, 42 percent oppose banning them, and 27 percent strongly oppose it.

As for students who identify as “weak Democrat,” 11 percent said they strongly favor banning the hats and 16 percent favor doing so. But 37 percent said they oppose banning the hats, and 36 percent strongly oppose it.

Among independent students who lean Democrat, similar results emerged: 8 percent strongly favor and 15 percent favor it, while 37 percent oppose it and 40 percent strongly oppose it.

The poll was conducted in mid-September exclusively for The College Fix by College Pulse, an online survey and analytics company focused on college students.

The poll was sought in light of the fact that “Make America Great Again” hats have caused controversies on campuses, and are often accused of being symbols of racism or white supremacy.

Jeffrey Omari, a visiting assistant professor in the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Gonzaga University School of Law, wrote an op-ed in July stating that a student who wore a Make America Great Again hat in his classroom “was like a siren spewing derogatory racial obscenities at me.”

Another professor has argued that wearing a red Make America Great Again hat will one day be seen as akin to wearing a “Ku Klux Klan hood or robe.” And earlier this year, a California high school told a student she cannot wear her “Make America Great” hat to school as it may make other students feel “unsafe.”

Over the Fourth of July, a student at the University of Florida was attacked near campus for wearing his MAGA hat out and about.

But in the comments section of the survey, where students have the option to weigh in on the poll question, most students who did so stated that while they do not like President Donald Trump, they do not agree that the MAGA hats should be banned from campus.

• Western Kentucky University: I would love to never see one again, but strongly oppose. Censorship is not the answer.

• Missouri State: As much as I hate Trump it’s a freedom of speech.

• UC Riverside: Banning MAGA hats is stupid. What’s more stupid? Wearing one.

• Bossier Parish Community College: I’m definitely not a Trump supporter at all, but you can’t ban a phrase (especially a non-crude and harmless phrase). That’s 100% against the freedom of speech.

• Clemson: Of course they shouldn’t be banned. Trump supporters don’t wear them much anymore — which says a lot [about] how confident they are about Trump!

Other comments made jokes about it, such as a student from UT Dallas who wrote “How will we know who not to date?” and another from Kansas State who said: “Let them wear the hats so I know who to stay away from.” A third from UNC asked: “How else am I going to identify the assholes?”

The College Fix asked Matthew Vitale — who as an undergrad at UC Riverside had his MAGA hat ripped off his head by one of his peers, who said at the time “f*ck your freedom of speech, boy” — to weigh in on the poll results.

He said he is not surprised by the outcome, and “if anything, I would’ve expected the numbers to be higher.”

“Democrats have been the party of groupthink and ideological discrimination for years now. Nowhere is that more true than on college campuses, which often bear more resemblance to Orwell’s Oceania than Reagan’s shining city on a hill,” Vitale told The College Fix. “Today’s young Democrats are more concerned with their feelings than the Constitution.”

About the poll: The initial sample was drawn from College Pulse’s Undergraduate Student Panel that includes over 240,000 verified students representing more than 800 different colleges and universities in all 50 states. Panel members are recruited by a number of methods to help ensure diversity in the panel population, including web advertising, permission-based email campaigns, and partnerships with university organizations.

The margin of error for this survey is ±3.5%. Margins of error are typically calculated on probability-based samples and are not technically correct for nonprobability online samples. We supply them here to provide a general assessment of error ranges that may be associated with the data.

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

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