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Voters Side With Trump In Defense of Historic Monuments

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.

In May, just 19% of all voters felt that the United States should erase symbols of its past history that are out of line with current sentiments.

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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.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) don’t know when the Civil War took place.

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.

 Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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