Monday, August 21, 2017
Voters tend to agree with President Trump’s defense of historical statues, and few think getting rid of Confederate monuments will lessen racial tensions in America.
Despite widespread media condemnation of the president’s response following the recent incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, 50% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with Trump’s Twitter tweet that it is “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.” The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 37% disagree, while 12% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Just 28% believe that the removal of Confederate monuments from many cities will help race relations. Thirty-nine percent (39%) think the removal of those Civil War-era statues will hurt race relations instead. Twenty-six percent (26%) say it would have no impact.
Interestingly, blacks (43%) and other minority voters (42%) are more likely than whites (38%) to believe the removal of the Confederate statues will hurt race relations. Thirty-five percent (35%) of blacks think the statues’ removal will help race relations, but only 28% of whites and 24% of other minorities agree.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 17 and 20, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Rasmussen Reports will tell you at 10:30 Eastern this morning whether voters think the names of early presidents like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who were slave owners should be removed from public places. Should Mount Rushmore be closed or changed?
Fifty-two percent (52%) of Americans believe race relations in the United States are getting worse.
Seventy-three percent (73%) of Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party by a 50% to 36% margin agree with the president that it is “sad to see the history and culture of our great country ripped apart. …” Fifty-four percent (54%) of Democrats disagree.
Fifty-three percent (53%) of GOP voters believe it will hurt race relations to remove Confederate statues from many cities, but only 30% of Democrats and 36% of unaffiliated voters share that concern. Slightly more Democrats (39%) think the removal of the statues will help race relations, but unaffiliated voters (29%) are less sure of that.
Just over half (52%) of both whites and other minority voters agree with Trump’s tweet. Blacks disagree by a narrow 45% to 41% margin.
Among voters who agree with the tweet, 60% think removal of the statues will hurt race relations. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of those who disagree with what the president said believe the removals will help relations between the races.
In July 2016 as the presidency of the first black president was drawing to a close, 60% of all voters said race relations had gotten worse since Barack Obama’s election.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Americans believe Americans should be proud of the history of the United States, but 66% think most of their fellow countrymen don’t know much about their country’s past.
The majority of voters have said in surveys for years that most school textbooks are more concerned with being politically correct than with accurately providing information.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.