Fewer Than 20 Percent Of Americans Say Trump Opposes White Nationalism

Most of the president's supporters said white Americans face a lot of discrimination.
Most voters who supported Donald Trump in 2016 said the threat of white nationalism is not very serious or nonexistent in the U.S., according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.
Most voters who supported Donald Trump in 2016 said the threat of white nationalism is not very serious or nonexistent in the U.S., according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Just 19 percent of Americans say they believe that President Donald Trump personally opposes white nationalism, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey found. Thirty-nine percent said he supports white nationalism, while 20 percent said he doesn’t have a strong opinion on the movement either way. The rest said they weren’t sure.

The poll was taken after last week’s mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques. The alleged gunman, an Australian white supremacist, mentioned the president by name as part of a rambling manifesto. Trump denounced the shooting as a “horrible act” but did not directly express condolences to the Muslim community in New Zealand or in the U.S. Trump also said he did not see a rise in white nationalism around the world.

“The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that,” Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday in response to criticism of Trump’s reaction.

The perception that Trump personally supports white nationalism appears to have risen slightly since the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, when 31 percent said he held those beliefs ― a change due largely to increased conviction among his political opponents. Trump condemned the violence at Charlottesville but later soft-pedaled that denunciation, assigning blame to “both sides” and arguing that the group of white nationalist rallygoers included “some very fine people.”

Just over half of Americans said white nationalism is a danger to the U.S.: 52 percent of the public said it poses at least a somewhat serious threat to the country, with 30 percent calling it very serious. Black Americans were twice as likely as white Americans to say white nationalism is a very serious threat. But that racial difference pales in comparison with the political divide. Voters who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 were 13 times as likely as Trump voters to say the threat is very serious. Most Trump voters said the threat is not very serious or nonexistent.

Most Trump supporters, however, said that white people living in the U.S. are the target of “a lot of discrimination.” Sixty-three percent of Trump voters, compared with 13 percent of Clinton voters, said they believe that white Americans face such discrimination. The belief is especially prominent among Trump voters living in the South, about three-quarters of whom said whites are the target of frequent discrimination.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted March 15 to 16 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.