Idaho is overwhelmingly white and Republican.
But even so, nearly a fourth of all Idahoans say their community has a problem with racial tensions, a recent Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.
However, those tensions – whatever they be – don’t seem to affect citizens’ trust in their police, for 86 percent say they “somewhat” or “strongly” agree with the statement that they trust their local law enforcement, IPW pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds.
How you feel about race and cops has something to do with how old you are, with younger Idahoans seeing more problems in both areas than their parents’ age groups.
Here are some of Jones’ numbers:
-- Among all Idahoans, they trust their cops, 86-12 percent. And 23 percent say there are racial tensions in their communities, while 75 percent say there are no racial tensions.
-- Among those who are 18-29 years old, 74 percent trust their cops, while 26 percent (a fourth) do not.
-- And in that age group, 33 percent (a third) say there are racial tensions in their neighborhoods, while 64 percent say there aren’t.
But look at those 50-59 years old: Only 25 percent say there are racial tensions, while 74 percent say there are not.
And among that older age group, a huge 91 percent say they trust their cops, while only 8 percent say they don’t.
Those are statistically different findings among the younger and older Idahoans on these questions.
As might be expected, Republicans and those who self-identified as “very conservative” have different opinions on law enforcement and racial tensions than Democrats and liberals.
-- 93 percent of Republicans trust their cops, while only 75 percent of Democrats do.
-- 90 percent of the “very conservative” Idahoans trust the police, while only 65 percent of the “very liberal” Idahoans do.
-- 79 percent of Republicans say there are no racial tensions in their neighborhoods, but only 61 percent of Democrats say so – with 37 percent of Democrats saying there are racial problems in their communities (just 19 percent of Republicans).
And look at this difference:
-- Among those who said they are “very liberal,” 47 percent (nearly half) say there are racial tensions in their communities.
-- While only 18 percent of the “very conservative” Idahoans agree.
So Republican conservatives are either living in different neighborhoods than Democratic liberals, or they two groups have very different views of what is going on around them.
Jones polled 649 adults statewide from May 4-May 18. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.85 percent.