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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump works the rope line following a campaign rally in Nashua, N.H., on Jan. 29. (Reuters/Gretchen Ertl)
Many Americans may hate political correctness. But they also don’t like rude or coarse manners.
A new national poll has found that even though businessman Donald Trump has become the Republican frontrunner for president in part because of his brash, say-anything style, many people find him to be the least civil candidate in either the Republican or Democratic party.
And 70 percent of Americans, including 74 percent of likely voters, think incivility is such a problem that it has risen to crisis levels.
And their poll responses indicate political correctness may sometimes be driven by a fear of incivility.
Large numbers of likely voters surveyed by KRC Research, a nonpartisan opinion research firm, said they do not discuss topics such as racial inequality (40 percent), abortion (37 percent), gay marriage (36 percent) and other topics because they believe the conversation will take a bad turn.
A large majority said how a candidate conducts and expresses himself or herself matters to them. Among likely voters, 52 percent said it was very important, and 41 percent said it was somewhat important.
As for the presidential candidates, 90 percent of Democrats said Trump is uncivil, while 69 percent of Republican voters and independents agreed.
Trump was the only candidate deemed to be uncivil by a majority of those surveyed from both political parties. The candidate with the second highest incivility score was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A majority of Republicans, 63 percent, said they consider her to be uncivil, but only 34 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats agreed.