Not surprisingly, two-thirds of Idahoans believe the state should decide where transgender public school kids can use public bathrooms, not the Obama administration, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll finds.
But there is a huge difference between how Republicans and Democrats see the issue, and how younger adults view it as opposed to senior citizens, finds Dan Jones & Associates in a recent survey.
While Obama’s federal Education Department has sent out new transgender restroom use guidelines, many local school districts say it is not much of a real issue, for most schools now have a few “private” restrooms which can be used by boys, girls and transgender students alike – one at a time.
But in conservative states like Idaho, there has still been a hue and cry over the new Obama transgender rules for schools and school districts that take federal money.
- Among all Idahoans, 65 percent agree with GOP Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and other top state officials that federal bureaucrats should not tell locals how to handle the issue of transgender student restroom use.
- 30 percent say the state should follow the federal rules, and 5 percent don’t know.
There is a real difference among age groups and political philosophies, however:
- Those 18-29 years old – 50 percent say the state should decide transgender public school restroom use; 44 percent say the feds should decide.
- But 77 percent of those 70 years old or older say the state should decide; only 19 percent say the feds should.
- 92 percent of Idaho Republicans say top state officials should determine that kind of restroom use; only 6 percent side with the Federals.
- But 70 percent of Democrats want the federal rules to apply. Only 24 percent want state officials deciding.
- And 61 percent of those who said they are political independents – not belong to any party – say the state should decide how to handle transgender student restroom use, 35 percent want the feds to decide.
There also is a bit of a gender gap – with women being more sympathetic to transgender school kids.
- 68 percent of men say the state should decide for transgender children, but only 62 percent of women agree.
- 27 percent of men said the feds should decide, but 33 percent of women side with federal officials on this one.
Jones polled 603 adults from May 18 to June 4. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.99 percent.