NEW YORK - New York City voters are divided along gender and racial lines over Mayor Michael Bloomberg's comments about Irish drinking in public, with 47 percent saying Irish Americans should be offended and 45 percent saying the Irish "should laugh it off as a joke among friends," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
The responses come from the 52 percent of voters who tell the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll that they have read or heard about the remarks.
Among that group, white voters say 51 - 39 percent the Irish should laugh it off. The Irish should take offense, black voters say 60 - 32 percent. Men say laugh it off 54 - 38 percent, while women say take offense 55 - 37 percent.
Republicans split 46 - 47 percent, and Democrats say 50 - 39 percent the Irish should be offended, while independent voters say 51 - 45 percent they should laugh it off.
"There's a big split between men and women and between white and non-white voters on whether Irish Americans should be offended by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's comment about carousing at that swanky Irish joint around the corner from where he lives," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Black voters, perhaps accustomed to ethnic slurs themselves, say Irish Americans should be offended, while white voters say laugh it off."