A majority of Americans in a new poll have a positive association with the term “woke,” understanding it to mean “to be informed, educated on, and aware of social injustices.”
The USA Today-Ipsos poll released on Wednesday found that 56 percent agreed with the more positive definition, while 39 percent had a negative association with the word and understood it to mean “to be overly politically correct and police others’ words.”
However, Americans in the poll are divided on whether they consider it an insult to be described as “woke,” with 40 percent calling it an insult and 32 percent calling it a compliment.
Both of these measures break down along party lines, with Republicans more likely than their Democratic counterparts to have a negative understanding of “wokeness” and to consider it an insult.
While 56 percent of Republicans said “wokeness” meant being overly politically correct, 78 percent of Democrats understood the term as being informed on social justice issues.
When asked how they would respond if someone called them “woke,” 60 percent of Republicans said they would consider it to be an insult, while 46 percent of Democrats said they would describe it as a compliment.
The discussion around the term comes as GOP politicians wage a so-called war on “wokeness.” Leading the charge, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has previously declared that the Sunshine State is “where woke goes to die.”
“We fight the woke in the legislature. We fight the woke in the schools. We fight the woke in the corporations. We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob,” DeSantis said after securing his second term as governor in November.
The USA Today-Ipsos poll was conducted March 3-5 with 1,023 adults and had a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.