Way too many Trump supporters also blame both sides for Charlottesville

A large number of Trump supporters believe whites and Christians are persecuted in America — and that Trump's right

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published August 23, 2017 12:21PM (EDT)

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump attend a "Spirit of America" rally in Denver February 27, 2017.     (Reuters/Rick Wilking)
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump attend a "Spirit of America" rally in Denver February 27, 2017. (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

President Donald Trump's belief that both sides were to blame for the Charlottesville riots has hurt his approval ratings — but there are still many, many Republicans who share his views.

On the one hand, a recent Morning Consult/Politico survey found that only 39 percent of respondents approve of Trump, while 56 percent disapprove of him — giving him a -17 rating that is the worst of his presidency so far. He has also seen slight drops in his support among Republicans (73 percent now compared to 76 percent earlier this month) and voters who supported him in the 2016 presidential election (80 percent now compared to 81 percent earlier this month, although that falls within the poll's margin of error).

At the same time, a recent Public Policy Polling survey helps shed light on why so many Republicans still back the president. After finding that 40 percent of its respondents approved of Trump and 53 percent did not approve (not much different from its July finding that 41 percent approve and 55 percent disapprove), the poll uncovered some startling beliefs among Trump voters.

When asked which racial group they believe faces the most discrimination in America, 45 percent of Trump voters said it was white people, followed by Native Americans (17 percent), African Americans (16 percent) and Latinos (5 percent). Similarly, 54 percent of Trump voters thought Christians face the most discrimination in America, followed by Muslims (22 percent) and Jews (12 percent).

Not surprisingly, this means that 71 percent of Trump voters support Confederate monuments while only 10 percent oppose them, as compared to 39 percent of Americans who support them and 34 percent who oppose them. That said, Democrats, Republicans and independents all support relocating Confederate monuments off of government property, although Republicans are least likely to do so among the three groups (46 percent support and 42 percent oppose).

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Charlottesville Confederacy Confederate Donald Trump Racism White Nationalism White Supremacy