More than a week after a white nationalist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Donald Trump received a brutal assessment of his response to the violence, and his equivocations over the roles of neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups who participated.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll shows 28% of respondents approved of the way Trump addressed the rally and its fallout, with 56% disapproving.
The president on August 12 asserted that “many sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville that left a counterprotester dead. He denounced white supremacist groups by name two days later after facing sharp criticism from Republicans and Democrats, only to walk back those condemnations a day later when Trump said there were some “very fine people” among the white supremacists who participated in the rally.
The numbers on Trump’s Charlottesville response fall lower than his overall job ratings, which stood at 37% approval and 58% disapproval in the ABC News/Washington Post poll.
On the question of whether Trump has been putting neo-Nazis and white supremacists on the same level as their opponents, 42% of respondents said yes and 35% said no. Twenty-three per cent of people who answered that question said they had no opinion.
Overall, just 9% of respondents said it was acceptable to support neo-Nazi and white supremacist views, while 83% said it was unacceptable.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was taken between August 16 and 20. English and Spanish-speaking respondents were surveyed among 1,014 adults, with a 3.5-point margin of error.