Poll: Young, Working-class, Trump-voting Women Side with Will Smith

A new poll suggests that young, working-class, conservative women and minorities are more likely to side with Will Smith over Chris Rock in the debate over whether Smith was right to slap Rock during the Oscars after Rock made fun of Smith’s wife, Jada.

The viral moment, watched by millions on live television (and millions more on social media afterwards), took place Sunday evening after Rock compared Jada Pinkett Smith to Demi Moore’s close-cropped character in the military film G.I. Jane.

Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia, a condition that causes her to lose her hair, which is why she had cut it short on Sunday. After laughing at the joke, Will Smith climbed onstage, approached Rock, and slapped him before sitting down again.

He then exchanged a series of expletives with Rock, before the show continued, and he soon returned to the stage to claim the award for Best Actor. On Monday, he apologized to Rock and to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Legal analysts declared Smith’s assault and battery of Rock a likely misdemeanor crime, though most suggested it was not one that would be prosecuted, given the lack of injury and Rock’s decision not to ask the police to press criminal charges.

Some polls suggest the public disapproves of what Smith did. Others disagree, and one new poll suggests there was at least one group that approved of Smith’s actions: young, working-class women, especially those who voted for Donald Trump.

An online poll by Democratic pollster David Shor revealed several age, class, gender, and political divides over the incident:

In the poll, conducted among 2162 adults with no margin of error reported, men backed Rock over Smith, while women sided with Smith. So, too, did respondents under 65 years old and earning less than $100,000 per year, as well as those without a college degree. Trump voters also tended to support Smith over Rock, while Biden voters were marginally more likely to support Rock over Smith. Black, Hispanic, and Native American respondents more strongly favored Smith.

Thus, while Smith did not do what was legally right, and the Academy belatedly condemned his use of violence, some Americans analyzed the event through a more traditional set of mores: if you insult a man’s wife, expect to be slapped.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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