Presidents are supposed to unify our country and bring Americans together for a common purpose. But the majority of people believe we currently have a president who fosters division and promotes white supremacy, according to a new poll.
The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) poll published Monday found that 54 percent of respondents think Trump’s decisions and behavior as president have encouraged members of white supremacist groups.
This is compared to 39 percent who say Trump’s behavior has had no effect and five percent who say he has discouraged these groups.
More than two-thirds of black Americans (72 percent) and Hispanic Americans (68 percent) say Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacist groups. White Americans, however, are less likely (45 percent) to hold this view.
Whites with a college degree are much more likely than whites without a degree to say Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacist groups (58 percent vs. 38 percent).
The poll also found that a large majority of Americans do not approve of the president. According to the poll:
- Across a wide array of measures, a majority of Americans disapprove of the president and his conduct in office.
- Almost six in ten (58%) disapprove of Trump’s job performance as president.
- Nearly seven in ten say they would like his speech and behavior to be more consistent with his predecessors (69%) or that
- He has damaged the dignity of the presidency (69%).
- Nearly six in ten (59%) say he has not used his authority to pardon appropriately, and
- A majority (54%) believe that his decisions and behavior as president have encouraged white supremacist groups.”
The poll also found that 42 percent of Americans strongly disapprove of the president’s performance while just 41 percent of respondents approve of his performance.
Among those who plan to vote for Democratic candidates in next week’s midterms, 48 percent said they are voting in an effort to oppose Trump and his agenda.
Robert Jones, the chief executive of PRRI released a statement saying that Trump is “unquestionably casting a long shadow over the midterm elections.”
“Attitudes toward the president appear to be driving not only the intensity of attitudes on key issues such as immigration and racial equality but the likelihood of voting among groups such as African American women who are strongly opposed to the president and white men who strongly favor the president,” Jones said.
Trump has faced criticism for not consistently condemning white supremacism, including when he initially said that “both sides” were to blame for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year.
Millions of people are very unhappy with the president’s behavior over the past week, as he has denied responsibility for violence and has blamed the press.
Ohio’s GOP Gov. John Kasich believes Trump is “selling fear” ahead of next week’s midterm elections. In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Kasich said, “Our president is trying to have an electoral gain by selling fear and division, and it’s not right.”
Former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said he believes Trump is encouraging right-wing extremists to carry out violent attacks. Schmidt blames Trump and right-wing media for planting the seeds that led to the attempted bombings and mass shooting attack this past weekend.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.