ECU’s Center for Survey Research Polls Public on Hot Topics

Separate polls covered sports gambling, Confederate monuments

GREENVILLE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research (CSR) has released
the results of two recent polls — one focusing on the controversy
surrounding Confederate monuments in North Carolina and the other on
sports gambling legalization and Super Bowl betting behavior in
Mississippi and New Jersey.

On the topic of sports gambling legalization, political party
affiliation had little effect on the public’s feelings on the topic. On
the other hand, the views related to Confederate monuments were sharply
divided between those who voted for Donald Trump and those who voted for
Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

“The legalization of sports gambling is one of the very few issues today
that can cross the political divide. Yet, on other issues such as
Confederate monuments, political polarization runs deep,” said Dr. Peter
Francia, director of the CSR. “In North Carolina, feelings on the issue
of Confederate monuments are strong and differences in opinion are wide,
especially when comparing Trump voters to Clinton voters.”

Confederate monuments

The CSR polled more than 700 adults in North Carolina 18 and older to
measure public opinion regarding Confederate monuments and the broader
issue of Confederate monuments on college and university campuses in
North Carolina. Questions regarding the Silent Sam monument at
UNC-Chapel Hill were included.

Key findings:

  • Members of the public are divided on the issue of Confederate
    monuments remaining on college and university campuses, with 46
    percent who disagree and 37 percent who agree that the monuments
    should be removed. The remaining 18 percent neither agreed or
  • There are deep political divisions on the issue of Confederate
    monuments remaining on college and university campuses, highlighted by
    extreme polarization between those who voted for Donald Trump and
    those who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
    Seventy-eight percent of Trump voters oppose the removal of the
    monuments versus 21 percent of Clinton voters.
  • On the specific issue of Silent Sam at UNC-Chapel Hill, 61 percent of
    those surveyed who were familiar with the Silent Sam controversy
    believe Silent Sam should be returned to its original location on the
    UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
  • Trump voters in North Carolina express overwhelming support (90
    percent) for returning Silent Sam to its original location on the
    UNC-Chapel Hill campus. The same is true for 35 percent of Clinton

Super Bowl betting and sports gambling legalization

The 2019 Super Bowl was the first large sporting event to take place in
states that have legalized sports gambling since the U.S. Supreme Court
overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act last year.

ECU’s CSR polled more than 1,000 Mississippi and New Jersey residents
age 21 and older Feb. 6-12. These two states recently legalized sports
gambling and the focus of the poll was to get their opinions on the
legalization of sports gambling and gambling activity during the Super

“These two states are very different – a northern state dominated by
Democrats and a southern state dominated by Republicans. We were
interested in looking at the opinions of the residents of these two
states related to gambling activities and sports gambling,” said Francia.

Significant findings include:

  • Despite their regional and political differences, residents in both
    states were highly supportive of their state’s law to legalize sports
  • 1 in 4 reported gambling on the Super Bowl.
  • Religion and partisan identification have little influence on support
    for legalized sports gambling.
  • People who think legalized sports gambling is good for their state’s
    economy outnumber those who think it’s bad by a 3-to-1 margin.
  • Only 26 percent of respondents thought gambling on sports was morally

The center’s national poll, conducted last summer, showed Americans in
support of legalized sports gambling by a 2-to-1 margin. In this latest
poll of respondents from Mississippi and New Jersey, supporters of
legalized sports gambling outnumbered opponents by a 3-to-1 margin in
both states.

Link to the full reports:

ECU’s Center for Survey Research (CSR) has delivered data-based
research expertise to various agencies, organizations and interest
groups across eastern North Carolina since 1989. Our methods of
professional public opinion assessment and organizational evaluation
have earned CSR the reputation as the premier provider of quality
consulting services in our region.


Jamie Smith, ECU News Services,,