The American public-affairs and research firm Global Strategy Group released a comprehensive study Wednesday exploring the sometimes deep divides within the American electorate with respect to hot political topics that companies have waded into over the past year.
The firm, which shared the results of its study with Business Insider ahead of its publication, delved into the extent to which corporations have become involved in contentious political and social issues.
The study discovered that Americans on both sides of the political aisle overwhelmingly support private companies taking political stances — 88% of respondents agreed that corporations “have the power to influence social change.”
But they unsurprisingly have vastly different reactions to company stances on issues.
“In today’s political environment, if you take a stance on a controversial issue, it will likely get attention, and often without a huge paid media budget,” Tanya Meck, the executive vice president of GSG’s communications and public affairs group, said in a statement.
Here’s a look at the different issues where voters say it’s appropriate — and not appropriate — to weigh in:
Of the notable political debates that companies weighed into last year, it came as no surprise to the firm that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump was at the center of the most polarising stance taken by a company over the past year.
Global Strategy Group’s study found that the Professional Golfer’s Association of America’s decision to move a tournament away from one of Trump’s courses in Los Angeles — after the Republican presidential front-runner made disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants — was the most polarising of 20 issues it tested.
Though 48% of Democrats said that the move caused them to feel more positively about the company, only 25% of Republicans felt the same. And according to the survey, 52% of Republicans said they had a more negative impression about the PGA following the league’s decision to move the tournament from Trump’s course.
That meant the Global Strategy Group’s “polarization score” — the difference between Republicans’ and Democrats’ sentiments on brand impact — was a high 55.
Republicans and Democrats were also fare more divided over whether companies should get involved in the controversy over the Confederate battle flag. Self-identified Republicans had a vastly more negative reaction to NASCAR’s request that race attendees not bring confederate flags to races than Democrats. The issue’s “polarization score” stood at 42.
Here’s a look at those issues and their polarization scores, as tested by Global Strategy Group:
Below, you can check out the full study, which contains more insights into the mesh of business and politics:
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