Is Donald Trump racist? Half of U.S. voters think so, according to a new poll
American voters believe Donald Trump is racist, but most aren’t in favour of impeachment, according to a new survey.
A Quinnipiac University National Poll released Tuesday found that 51 per cent of U.S. voters believe their president is racist. That number has gone up by two per cent, compared to a previous Quinnipiac poll conducted three weeks ago which asked the same question.
Forty-five per cent of participants said they do not believe the president is racist.
The Quinnipiac poll asked more than 1,306 American voters a series of questions related to recent events in Trump’s presidency. It questioned participants on the ongoing border crisis, the Mueller Report and the possibility of impeachment.
It was conducted between July 25 and 28 amid a still-swirling controversy over tweets by the president about Baltimore, Maryland.
Over the weekend, Trump launched a Twitter attack on Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, calling his majority-black Baltimore district a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.”
Trump later said that his comments were not racist and suggested the lawmaker should “focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district.”
WATCH: Trump says people in Baltimore are happy he’s ‘bringing out fact it’s like living in hell’
The poll also comes on the heels of a war of words between Trump and four Democratic congresswomen of colour. Earlier this month, the president accused the politicians of hating America and suggested they should “go back” to their home countries, even though three of the four were born in the U.S.
The comments provoked a racially-toned rally cry heard around the world.
At a North Carolina rally, Trump’s MAGA supporters chanted “send her back.” The chant was aimed at Rep. Ilhan Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child when her family fled war-torn Somalia.
Based on demographics, most voters Quinnipiac surveyed were inclined to say the president was racist, including black voters, Hispanic voters, Democrats, and Independents.
Only eight per cent of Republicans thought Trump was racist.
When it came to male voters, the poll found that most men did not believe Trump is racist (55 per cent), while 41 per cent did.
Women, who are considered a critical voting bloc in the 2020 election, edged much higher on the belief that the president is racist, with 59 per cent for “yes” and 36 per cent for “no.”
Support for starting impeachment proceedings against Trump wasn’t strong.
The poll found that less than a third of voters (32 per cent) want to see impeachment begin.
WATCH: Is Trump’s racist rhetoric part of political strategy?
The desire for a presidential takedown was strong among Democrats, at 61 per cent, and black voters, at 66 per cent, but Quinnipiac found that every other demographic was opposed.
Quinnipiac’s polling period began just one day after Robert Mueller testified before Congress, on July 24.
Despite the majority of voters leaning away from impeachment, the poll found that 56 per cent believe the Mueller Report “did not clear the president of any wrongdoing.”
More than half thought that Trump “attempted to derail or obstruct” the investigation of Russian meddling into the 2016 election.
“When it comes to the Mueller hearings, minds were not changed on impeachment or that President Trump was cleared of wrongdoing,” said Mary Snow, polling analyst for Quinnipiac University.
“One thing is clear: there is near-unanimous support for requiring political campaigns to report any information they receive from foreign governments to the FBI.”
Snow is referring to the results of questions related to future elections. In the same questionnaire, Quinnipiac found that a majority of voters believe Congress should pass new laws to protect the 2020 election from foreign interference.
Republican voters, however, believe the laws are enough (54 per cent).
Where Trump runs into some trouble, based on the poll results, is with the situation at the border.
Trump’s hard stance on the subject is being considered a key issue in his 2020 re-election bid.
WATCH: DonaTrump: many border detention centers are ‘run beautifully’
A number of major policy shifts have been announced in recent weeks to address what the Trump administration has called an “ongoing crisis on the southern border,” where detention facilities are brimming with migrants living in unsanitary conditions. Some of the policies, including a fast-track deportation order, seek to reduce a backlog of more than 900,000 cases in U.S. immigration courts.
Quinnipiac found a majority of voters believe the situation related to immigration detention centres is a “serious problem” (68 per cent) and that conditions there are “inhumane” (51 per cent).
Of those surveyed, 62 per cent said they don’t believe the government is doing enough to maintain humane conditions at the centres.
When asked whether they believe Trump’s “main motive” behind his immigration policies were either “sincere interest in controlling borders” or “racist beliefs,” most polled sided with the former (49 per cent).
However, 53 per cent of voters told Quinnipiac that undocumented immigrants should be released — even if there is a risk they won’t return — to address overcrowding.
According to Quinnipiac University, the survey is considered accurate plus or minus 3.4 per cent.
— With files from The Associated Press
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