Over half of Americans who heard about Kanye West’s comments on politics and slavery say he made them because he is seeking publicity, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS. Only 39% think West really believes in what he is saying.
This changes among partisan groups. Among Republicans, 56% think West believes what he is saying, while among Democrats, that number shrinks to 30%.
These numbers reflect Americans who say they’ve heard about Kanye’s comments; 72% said they’ve heard about them and only a quarter said they’ve heard “nothing at all.” Among African Americans, though, 40% have heard “a great deal” and 88% say they’ve heard about the comments. Groups that heard a great deal about Kanye’s comments included Democrats (23%), liberals (22%), and 18-34-year-olds (21%). Only 13% of Republicans had heard a great deal.
West’s favorability rating produces surprising demographic and political divides for a rapper whose previous foray into politics involved criticizing a GOP president for his handling of the response to hurricane Katrina.
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The musician’s favorability rating is currently at an overall 23% favorable and 53% unfavorable. Among those who approve of the job Trump is doing as President, 40% view him favorably and 34% unfavorably; those who disapprove of the President rate him at 9% favorable and 70% unfavorable.
Among African Americans, his approval rating is at 15%, and among white people, 24% rate Kanye favorably and 50% unfavorably. Republicans have a somewhat higher opinion of him. They are split on West, with 35% viewing him favorably and unfavorably.
The low ratings could prove an obstacle if West carries through with promises to run for President in the future.
His new single “Ye vs. the People,” which is a sort of political debate between the rapper and T.I., debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 85.
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS May 2-5 among a random national sample of 1,015 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.