It turns out Trump’s racist e-tirades are much more influential than we think.
A Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll conducted after President Donald Trump ignited a tweetstorm on Sunday and told four Democratic lawmakers they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” indicates Republican support for Trump has increased.
The poll confirms the president’s net approval rating among members of the Republican Party has risen by five percentage points from a similar poll taken last week, while his net approval among Democrats and independents dropped by two and one points, respectively, and his overall approval of 41% remained unchanged from last week.
Interestingly, Reuters indicates the partisan difference could be attributed to differences in interpretation. Though Democrats and independents see clear lines of racial intolerance, “to Republicans, Trump is simply saying: ‘Hey, if you don’t like America, you can leave,” Vincent Hutchings, a political science and African-American studies professor at the University of Michigan told Reuters. “That is not at all controversial. If you already support Trump, then it’s very easy to interpret his comments that way.”
Further polling adds fuel to the partisan divide: a USA Today/Ipsos online poll released Wednesday morning indicates only 25% of polled Republicans agreed Trump’s tweets were “un-American,” while an overwhelming 88% of Democrats and 59% of the general public agreed. To add context to those numbers, the poll reported 52% of Republicans agree those who criticize America are un-American, while only 17% of Democrats agree.
The poll also found 65% of those surveyed believed telling minority Americans to “go back where they came from” was a racist statement: 85% of Democrats strongly agreed, while Republicans only did so by a narrow margin of 45%.
The numbers seem to parallel the lackluster GOP response to Trump’s racially intolerant comments about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), even in light of the House of Representatives moving to formally rebuke the president’s comments on Tuesday. So far, the strongest response rendered by Republican lawmakers was to challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s right to forthrightly call Trump’s tweets “racist” on official record, and, well, the four Republican lawmakers who voted in support of the House’s condemning resolution.
But, don’t worry—despite the findings, the family business of spreading disinformation is still up and running: The president’s third-eldest biological acolyte Eric Trump has already come forward to allege that 95% of the country is behind his father’s comments during an interview with Fox News, and the man himself has begun to flaunt an incorrect approval rating for his home base.
Where’s that disinformation function when you need it?