Even as many of America’s major news outlets engaged in a soul-searching debate over whether to use the term “racist” to describe Donald Trump’s sustained attacks on four first term Democratic Congress members, all women of color, a new poll shows that half of all Americans are having no such concerns, The Washington Post reported.
According to the new poll released on Thursday evening by HuffPost/YouGov, 50 percent of all Americans, and 52 percent of registered voters, now describe Donald Trump as “a racist.” Only 35 percent, and 40 percent of registered voters, said that they were sure Trump was not a racist, with 15 percent and 8 percent, respectively, saying they were not sure whether Trump is a racist or not.
But 88 percent of those who identified themselves as Trump voters, almost nine of every 10, said that they were sure Trump was not a racist, according to a HuffPost report on the poll.
When broken down by race and gender, the poll found that a majority of women, 54 percent, say that Trump is a racist, compared to a plurality of men, 45 percent, who say the same thing. Black Americans were the group most likely to describe Trump as a racist, with 78 percent — more than three of every four — using the term to describe Trump, compared with 42 percent of whites.
New HuffPost/YouGov poll: Americans say, 50% to 35%, that the president is a racist. This number is virtually unchanged since February, and remains starkly divided along political lines. https://t.co/Z26lUqpMCW pic.twitter.com/dJtFWHnf6d— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) July 18, 2019
But 43 percent of white Americans are sure that Trump is not racist, according to the poll. A mere 6 percent of black Americans are certain that Trump is not a racist, HuffPost/YouGov found.
Though the poll was taken before Wednesday night’s Trump campaign rally in North Carolina — at which the crowd broke into a chant of “send her back” directed at Minnesota rep Ilhan Omar, a former refugee from Somalia — Trump’s attacks on the four women of color do not seem to have affected American perceptions of the president. When the same pollsters asked the question in February, 48 percent of Americans said that Trump is a racist, compared to 35 percent who said they were sure he was not, according to a HuffPost report.
The lack of significant change in whether or not Americans believe Trump is a racist appears to be mirrored by his recent approval rating polls, which as FiveThirtyEight data shows, have barely moved at all in the days since Trump first posted on Twitter saying that the four women should “go back” to the countries they supposedly came from. All but Omar were born in the United States.
Leading up to the July 14 Trump tweets, on July 12, Trump’s overall average approval rating stood at 42.4 percent. As of Thursday, July 18, his approval had ticked up by just one-tenth of a point, to 42.5 percent.
After 910 days of his term, Trump’s approval rating remains lower than every previous president since 1945, except for two: Jimmy Carter in 1979, and Ronald Reagan in 1983, according to the FiveThirtyEight data.