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Researchers find 'Moral Monday' crowd mostly from North Carolina

Posted June 17, 2013
Updated June 18, 2013

— A team of researchers say a survey of the crowd at Monday night's "Moral Monday" protest shows that at least 311 of 317 of those surveyed are from North Carolina. 

The protests, which have been led by the NAACP, have been organized to express opposition to a number of policies put forward by the Republican-controlled legislature. Spending on health care and changes to voting procedures have been staple targets of the protests, although Monday night's speeches focused on the environment and women's health.

During the past two weeks, lawmakers and other high-profile Republicans, including state party Chairman Claude Pope, have dismissed the protesters as "outsiders." That line has been refined in recent days to say that there are "outside influences" on the protests. In fact, groups such as the Washington, D.C.-based Advancement Project have helped provide organization and media outreach for protesters. 

But Fred Stutzman, a Chapel Hill-based researcher who owns Eighty Percent Solutions, said he wanted to explore the question of whether the protests were an outsider movement or not. Stutzman acknowledged he was a participant in prior Moral Monday protests.

He and a team of six social scientists, most affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill but volunteering their services for the evening, set out to survey the crowd.

Their findings: 

  • 317 protesters were surveyed, 316 of which gave valid ZIP codes. Of those 316, 311 were from North Carolina. 
  • Out-of-state protesters surveyed came from Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
  • The average age of a protester Monday night was 53, but a quarter were under age 36.
  • Roughly half of those surveyed had participated in a prior Moral Monday event. 

The ethnicity of those surveyed broke down as follows:

EthnicityCountPercentage
White25079.9
African- American5316.9
Hispanic61.9
Asian/Pacific Islander/ Indian41.3

The survey results probably won't change very many minds about the makeup of the Moral Monday movement. But the numbers are consistent with what WRAL News found when it examined where those arrested during the protests called home.

"We've got conclusive evidence here that shows the Moral Monday protests area a home-grown movement," Stutzman said. He called the racial and age makeup of the crowd "representative" of North Carolina's population overall.

Stutzman also provided a map of where the North Carolina participants were from. 

Moral Monday Survey Map

15 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • froggygirl Jun 24, 11:53 a.m.

    In many places during the civil rights era there were accusations of "outside agitators" supposedly stirring up the locals, as though the locals had neither the motivation nor the gumption to protest on their own. Here we are again.

  • j1nkies Jun 24, 11:11 a.m.

    Please sign onto the petition that supports the Moral Monday protestors! http://www.change.org/petitions/north-carolina-general-assembly-pay-attention-to-the-moral-monday-protestors

  • jttm69 Jun 18, 3:59 p.m.

    BGJ- Don't waste your time explaining it. The people who oppose Moral Mondays think it's all about folks getting supposedly free handouts from the government. While there may be some that do indeed take advantage of the situation, they don't want to understand what the protests are about.

  • BGJ Jun 18, 1:03 p.m.

    Good question, Littleriver69. No checks were involved. In fact, many people are donating their time and money towards this effort. It is free to participate and occurs ever Monday beginning at 5pm and usually lasting until about 8pm so that people who work can attend.

  • littleriver69 Jun 18, 12:49 p.m.

    Interesting. At least something got them of the couch!! Was there a check involved??

  • BGJ Jun 18, 11:24 a.m.

    I am certainly hoping that the effort continues and the approximately 2,000 that showed up yesterday will grow larger. As evidenced by the great deal of concern shown in the posts, their voice is being heard and at least discussions are occurring.

  • woodsman12169 Jun 18, 11:19 a.m.

    9.7 million NC citizens...... you got 1000 to show up. woo hoo what a awesome display to show what the "majority" really wants when .01% show up to protest

  • BGJ Jun 18, 11:16 a.m.

    I also agree that it is time to make sure that children, education and the poor have a voice so that they do not have to continually be agenda items. It is unfortunate that hard working people like myself have to stand up for them because this legislator has chosen to ignore their needs.

  • BGJ Jun 18, 11:01 a.m.

    A clear agenda is important, Rdcress. I agree. That's why I am specifically protesting the following:

    1. Fast tracked fracking

    2. Rolling back Jordan Lake drinking water protections

    3. Rollback of smoking laws

    4. Increased ability to carry handguns

    5. Tying a student's place of voting with their parent's ability to write them off as a dependent

  • rdcress Jun 18, 10:31 a.m.

    This changes nothing as far as opinion toward a misguided effort by non-profits and out of state organizers. Thus far all we've heard are these lame generalities about this republican agenda hurting struggling families. How about the harm done by an excessively large government that is out of touch, out of control and places a burden on the working men and women of this state. Oh I forgot, if you have a job, an income, and are responsible, you don't count except as a resource from which politicians and the "entitled" can steal. I'm sick of these protesters who can't even articulate a coherent and rational discussion on fact but are ever so quick to throw out the typical "children, education, and the poor" mantras.

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