Today it's almost become vogue to be outraged by something or someone. Every day sparks a new protest of a product or outrage against someone that, often many years ago, said this or did that. While there is no denying people say stupid and insensitive things, and they should be held accountable, it's easy for some to act like the thought police and assume the posture of moral superiority.

This is the essence of the "cancel culture." Naturally, there is debate as to the merit and effectiveness of this practice. This isn't to deny sometimes people say really horrible things or deserve the fallout from said situations, but some argue there is an overreaction element on display and an obvious difficulty in drawing a principled line regarding what's considered offensive and not offensive.

We posed the "cancel culture" question to a nationwide sample of 1,516 likely voters in the U.S. Overall, support for the "cancel culture" was slim: a narrow plurality of surveyed voters supported (37%) and a close number opposed it (32%), while almost a third were not sure (30%).

There were differences in the way various voters felt about the "cancel culture." Voters living in the East (45% support/30% oppose/25% not sure) were more likely to support the "cancel culture," than voters living in the Central/Great Lakes region (33% support/32% oppose/35% not sure). Younger voters aged 18-29 (39% support/36% oppose/25% not sure) were more likely than older voters aged 65+ (22% support/36% oppose/43% not sure) to support the cancel culture. The youngest voters surveyed, aged 18-24, (36% support/42% oppose/22% not sure) were more likely to oppose rather than support the "cancel culture," while middle-aged voters aged 30-49 (50% support/27% oppose/24% not sure) were most likely to support it.

Perhaps surprisingly, nearly as many Republicans (40% support/37% oppose/23% not sure) as Democrats (41% support/24% oppose/35% not sure) were in support of the "cancel culture." Independents were most likely to oppose the "cancel culture" (30% support/37% oppose/33% not sure). Interestingly, "very conservative" voters were split (39% support/39% oppose/22% not sure) on their support and opposition of the "cancel culture. " Their ideological counterparts--progressive/"very liberal" voters-were much more intense about their feelings toward the "cancel culture" (62% support/15% oppose/23% not sure).

Men (43% support/33% oppose/24% not sure) supported the idea of the "cancel culture" more than women (32% support/31% oppose/37% not sure). Also, a majority of voters in large cities (52% support/23% oppose/25% not sure) supported the "cancel culture," while suburban voters (33% support/32% oppose/34% not sure) were much more split about the idea-nearly a third supported the "cancel culture," a third opposed it and a third were not sure. More voters living in small cities (24% support/44% oppose/32% not sure) were opposed to the "cancel culture" than supportive of it.

Suburban women (33% support/27% oppose/40% not sure) were most likely to be not sure, while urban men (49% support/30% oppose/20% not sure) were much more supportive of the "cancel culture." The groups who supported the "cancel culture" the most were consumers of sports, such as, boxing (56% support/26% oppose/18% not sure) and WWE (57% support/25% oppose/18% not sure), as well as union supporters (57% support/25% oppose/17% not sure).

Like the issue itself, voters are split in many ways concerning the "cancel culture." Support among consumers and urban voters was the strongest, while opposition among specific groups did not reach a majority in most instances. While the debate will rage on about the efficacy of the "cancel culture," and what long term effects it will have on social media and other technology platforms, the support for it by some of the groups is surprising, even puzzling. There are still a large number of voters who are not sure or do not understand "cancel culture" but some things are certain: mob rule and character assassination are not the best solutions to helping people during teachable moments.



Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology

US Likely Voters

7/21/20 - 7/23/20

Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 1516 likely voters in the US. 

Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey.  Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.

Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books, and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 36% Democrat, 34% Republican, and 30% Independent/unaffiliated.

Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1516 is +/- 2.5 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set.  As a rule, we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents.  At that subset, we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases, the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

Additional factors can create errors, such as question-wording and question order.


About Zogby Analytics:

Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions. 

The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation. Rely on us for unbiased political articles.