September 11, 2017
Bill Shapard

Oklahomans want Confederate statues, named schools to remain as historical symbols

When likely voting Oklahomans were asked if Confederate statues or schools named for Confederate leaders should remain as historical symbols or be removed or changed because they offend some people, 79 percent said let them remain according to the most recent SoonerPoll Quarterly poll.

[box][QUESTION] Do you believe that monuments in Oklahoma that honor Confederate leaders or soldiers should:

1. Remain as a historical symbol79.7%2. Or, be removed because they offend some people14.63. Unsure [DNR]5.7


The question wording was taken directly from a PBS/NPR News Hour Poll conducted by the Marist Poll. Compared to its results, Oklahomans are a lot more supportive of leaving the statues and school names alone -- 79 percent compared to 62 percent nationally.

[box][QUESTION] Do you believe schools or government buildings in Oklahoma that bear the name of a Confederate leader should:

1. Remain as a historical symbol79.3%2. Or, be changed because they offend some people17.13. Unsure [DNR]3.6


Of those who believed the name of schools should be changed, 27.5 percent oppose it once informed the cost to the taxpayer in changing the name could be in excess of $50,000, this according to leaders of the Oklahoma City School District. Only 58.6 percent were still supportive.

[box][QUESTION] Some government officials in Oklahoma have noted the cost to the taxpayer to change the name of a school to be in excess of $50,000. Knowing this, do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE changing the school's name?

1. Still Support58.6%2. Now Oppose27.53. Unsure [DNR]13.9


Among Democrats, 65.5 percent said Confederate monuments should remain, and 76 percent of Independents. For moderate voters, 75.7 percent said they should remain and, amazingly, 45.9 percent of self-identified liberals believe the monuments should remain with 51.4 percent saying they should be removed.

Last year in another SoonerPoll Quarterly, over 88 percent of likely voting Oklahomans were not offended by the term 'redskins.' Two years prior, the Oklahoma City School Board changed the mascot of Capitol Hill High School. No poll of the public was conducted before its mascot change.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll.

The scientific study was conducted from August 22-28, 2017 with 404 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus a online panel from Research Now. The sample was weighted by age, political party, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election. The weighting was conducted using a 'layered technique.'

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.81 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll's Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here. A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.