Will the #MeToo movement sink former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential hopes?

Biden is a “hugger,” and a number of women have said that his touching of them – not in a sexual way – still made them uncomfortable in public and private settings.

A recent UtahPolicy.com poll by Dan Jones & Associates finds that only one-fourth of Utahns believe the #MeToo movement has actually lessened sexual harassment against women in our society.

 

And 46 percent say the movement has “gone too far” in publicly blaming or taking action against men accused of such harassment.

One would not think that Utah is filled with feminists or others who would condemn how society treats women and girls – we are overall a conservative bunch here.

And DJA’s findings on these two questions is consistent with that.

Overall:

-- 26 percent say the #MeToo movement has lessened sexual harassment of women in the workplace – not a large number.

-- 45 percent say sexual harassment has stayed about the same, despite the movement’s publicity of the problem.

--15 percent sexual harassment in the workplace has actually gotten worse because of #MeToo.

-- And 14 percent don’t know.

On the second question: Do you think the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment has:

-- Gone too far, 46 percent said yes to that.

-- 33 percent said the movement is “about right” in its consequences.

-- 13 percent said the movement “has not gone far enough.”

-- And 7 percent don’t know.

What is interesting is that the beliefs between men and women are about the same on the #MeToo movement. One may have believed that the sexes would have had different opinions on this matter.

-- 29 percent of men sexual harassment has lessened because of #MeToo.

-- 24 percent of women agree.

-- 48 percent of men say the movement “has gone too far.”

-- 44 percent of women agree – it’s gone too far.

Where you do find a difference in Utah is between politically partisan and philosophical groups on the question of whether the #MeToo movement has gone too far:

-- 59 percent of Republicans say it has gone too far, while 68 percent of those who are “very conservative” believe the same.

-- But only 20 percent of Democrats say #MeToo has gone too far, and only 13 percent of “very liberal” Utahns agree.

The overall numbers for the political groups:

-- Republicans, 59 percent “gone too far,” 27 percent “about right,” 7 percent “not far enough.”

-- Democrats, 20 percent “too far,” 48 percent “about right,” 30 percent “not far enough.”

-- Independents, 39 percent “gone too far,” 37 percent “about right,” 14 percent “not far enough.”

-- Very conservative politically, 68 percent “too far,” 17 percent “about right,” 5 percent “not far enough.”

-- Somewhat conservative, 51 percent “too far,” 35 percent “about right,” 11 percent “not far enough.”

-- Moderates, 42 percent “too far,” 37 percent “about right,” 14 percent “not far enough.”

-- Somewhat liberal, 21 percent “too far,” 50 percent “about right,” 22 percent “not far enough.”

-- Very liberal, 13 percent “too far,” 46 percent “about right,” 39 percent “not far enough.”

It is unclear whether the #MeToo era will push Biden out of the 2020 presidential race, for despite the apparent non-sexual harassment nature of his touching of women in the past, The New York Times had a recent article talking about how Biden’s actions and his age shows how old, white men are out of touch (nice pun here) with how women demand to be treated today, and how Biden’s actions may well make it more difficult for him to contrast with GOP President Donald Trump’s treatment of women in a head-to-head matchup next year.

DJA polled 822 adult Utah voters from Jan. 3-15. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.