Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say the Washington Redskins do not need to change their name, according to a new poll.
A full 90 percent of Republicans surveyed by Public Policy Polling said a name change is unnecessary. A majority of Democrats, 59 percent, also agreed the football team does not need to change its name — leaving a 31 percent gap between the parties.
Sixty-five percent of independents also said the team does not need to change its name.
Overall, the poll found 71 percent of people do not think the Redskins should change their name, while 18 percent of people believe the team should.
The team’s name is considered offensive to some, and the organization has come under increasing pressure to change it. The Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said last year he would never consider changing the name.
Democrats in Washington have been the most vocal about the need for a name change. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidNevada's Heck won't say who he's backing for president GOP groups ride to rescue in 3 key Senate races Obama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser MORE (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have both said they support a name change, as has Washington, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D).
President Obama said he would think about changing the name, if he were the team’s owner.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) is one of the few Republicans on record calling for the team to change its name.
According to the Democratic-affiliated poll, 31 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of independents think the team should change its name. Only 4 percent of Republicans feel the same.
Another 11 percent of Democrats and 18 percent of independents said they are not sure about a name change; six percent of Republicans said they are unsure.
There has been little polling about the issue in years past. An Associated Press-GfK poll commissioned last May found 79 percent of people overall opposed a name change, while only 11 percent thought the name should be changed. Another 10 percent were not sure or did not answer the question.