Poll: Trump Supporters More Likely to View Blacks Negatively

Emily Flitter and Chris Kahn, Reuters, June 28, 2016

Supporters of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump are more likely to describe African Americans as “criminal,” “unintelligent,” “lazy” and “violent” than voters who backed some Republican rivals in the primaries or who support Democratic contender Hillary Clinton, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.

Ahead of the Nov. 8 election to replace Barack Obama, the first black U.S. president, the poll also showed significant numbers of Americans in both the Republican and Democratic parties view blacks more negatively than whites, harbor anxiety about living in diverse neighborhoods and are concerned that affirmative action policies discriminate against whites.

Republicans in the survey expressed these concerns to a greater degree than Democrats, with Trump supporters presenting the most critical views of blacks.

The poll, conducted between March and June, interviewed 16,000 Americans and included 21 questions on attitudes about race. {snip}

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Nearly half of Trump’s supporters described African Americans as more “violent” than whites. The same proportion described African Americans as more “criminal” than whites, while 40 percent described them as more “lazy” than whites.

In smaller, but still significant, numbers, Clinton backers also viewed blacks more critically than whites with regard to certain personality traits. Nearly one-third of Clinton supporters described blacks as more “violent” and “criminal” than whites, and one-quarter described them as more “lazy” than whites.

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When asked about where they wanted to live, 36 percent of Trump supporters said, “I prefer to live in a community with people who come from diverse cultures,” compared with 46 percent of Cruz supporters, 55 percent of Kasich supporters and 70 percent of Clinton supporters.

Trump’s supporters were more likely to be critical of affirmative action policies that favor minorities in school admissions or in hiring.

Some 31 percent of Trump supporters said they “strongly agree” that “social policies, such as affirmative action, discriminate unfairly against white people,” compared with 21 percent of Cruz supporters, 17 percent of Kasich supporters and 16 percent of Clinton supporters.

To be sure, not all Trump supporters expressed negative attitudes about blacks. No more than 50 percent of his supporters rated blacks negatively, relative to whites, on any of the six character traits in the poll.

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The Reuters/Ipsos poll asked people to grade whites and blacks on a series of personal traits. The results were then analyzed to compare how each respondent rated whites with how they rated blacks.

In nearly every case, Trump supporters were more likely to rate whites higher than blacks when their responses were compared with responses from Clinton supporters.

For example, 32 percent of Trump supporters placed whites closer to the top level of “intelligence” than they did blacks, compared with 22 percent of Clinton supporters who did the same.

About 40 percent of Trump supporters placed whites higher on the “hardworking” scale than blacks, while 25 percent of Clinton supporters did the same. And 44 percent of Trump supporters placed whites as more “well mannered” than blacks, compared with 30 percent of Clinton supporters.

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