But there were some positive findings as well.
Photo by Froofroo/Wikimedia Commons.
On Saturday, a “free speech” rally in Boston, Massachusetts, organized by Act for America, a white supremacist group, didn’t last long. It was canceled after its gathering of a few dozen people was dwarfed by tens of thousands of protesters. This widespread condemnation of the group led it to move the 66 additional rallies it had planned throughout the country to online instead.
The lopsided show of support for a white supremacist group led many to wonder: How big is the movement in America? A recent poll by ABC News/Washington Post found that 9% of Americans believe it is acceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views. 83% of Americans believe it is unacceptable, leaving 8% with no opinion on the matter.
Although it’s shocking to see that approximately 22 million Americans believe it’s acceptable to hold neo-Nazi views, there were other findings in the study that were encouraging. The percentage of people who disapprove (56%) of President Trump’s handling of the Charlottesville tragedy is double that of those who approve (28%). In the aftermath of the rally — where a woman was killed when a car reportedly driven by an alleged white supremacist — Trump placed hate-spewing neo-Nazis and anti-racist protesters on the same moral footing. “I think there is blame on both sides,” he said in a press conference.
The poll also found that the president is losing strong approval among his most ardent supporters: whites (-9 percentage points), Republicans (-11), and strong conservatives (-11). Trump also faces a gaping gender gap. Only 28% of women support the president, versus 46% of men. That’s a wider gender gap than either of the two previous presidents, Obama and Bush, experienced during their entire presidencies.