On a similar note, it concluded that about 60% of Georgians opposed companies using their public role to shape political opinion or promote cultural change, including 86% of Republicans and 55% of independent voters. About 56% of Democrats support such corporate activism.
The poll’s findings reflected the backlash against baseball’s decision, which Republicans have criticized as “cancel culture.” Republican U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy visited Georgia on Tuesday to blast Major League Baseball as he called for an end to the “movement in this country about wokeness.”
It also served as a message to Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, two Atlanta-based corporate giants that sharply criticized the voting changes after Gov. Brian Kemp signed them into law. Though a slim overall majority of Georgians had favorable impressions of both companies, Republicans were evenly split over Delta and 55% of GOP voters had a dim view of Coke.
“It should be like the queen — they should be neutral because they have employees who feel both ways,” said Sheryl Hudson, an executive assistant from Forsyth County. “The top brass shouldn’t decide how their employees feel.”
Angela Meltzer, a semi-retired forensic accountant from Athens, is in the minority.
“Companies should be involved. They make money off the people in this state,” she said. “They should be conscious of what public policy is trying to do.”
The AJC poll involved 844 registered voters and was conducted April 20-May 3 by UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs. The margin of error is 3.4 percentage points.
A sharp split
The survey offered a reminder that few issues in Georgia are as polarizing as the ongoing clash over voting rights, which dominated the race for governor in 2018 and the 2020 election as then-President Donald Trump falsely claimed widespread fraud in Georgia led to his narrow defeat.
Georgians are evenly divided on the state’s election rewrite, which includes new ID requirements for absentee ballots, a tighter window for when mail-in ballots can be accepted and limits on accessibility to ballot drop boxes that gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic.
The rewrite was motivated in part by Trump’s claims about last year’s election results, when Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential contender to win Georgia since 1992. Election officials have said repeatedly there’s no evidence of widespread fraud in those contests, and three separate tallies upheld Biden’s win.