GOP President Donald Trump was criticized across the nation, and even by some in his own party in Congress, for his response to the racial violence in Charlottesville, VA, several weeks ago.
A new Idaho Politics Weekly poll finds Idahoans are split on that issue:
- 43 percent of Idahoans believe the president handled the Charlottesville situation “about right.”
- 41 percent said Trump was “too weak in condemning racism.”
- 5 percent said he was too strong in his condemnation.
- While 11 percent didn’t know.
Trump didn’t respond right away to the street violence, and when he did he said there was violence on both sides, and that there were some “fine people” on both sides of the protests.
Idaho women were more critical of Trump than were men – 43 percent of women said Trump was too weak on racism, while 39 percent said he was “about right.”
But 39 percent of men said Trump was too weak, and 48 percent said he was about right.
Jones also finds that Idahoans oppose protesters taking matters into their own hands and in tearing down Confederate States statues, 73-20 percent.
And 53 percent approved of Trump firing his controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon, while 14 percent opposed that firing and 32 percent didn’t have an opinion – probably because they didn’t know enough about Bannon to care.
Bannon returned to an arch-conservative web site, which he ran before Trump brought him on to his 2018 campaign and then into the White House.
Brannon has espoused some alt-right ideals, and has been called a white supremacist in the national media.
Returning to Trump’s Charlottesville comments, as expected, Jones finds real difference among political groups:
- 71 percent of Idaho Republicans said Trump got his racism comments “about right,” with only 15 percent saying he was too weak on the response.
- Democrats are just the opposite: 83 percent said Trump was too weak, with 6 percent saying he was “about right.”
- Among political independents, 57 percent said too weak, 29 percent “about right.”
Here is an interesting demographic split:
- 30 percent of those with only a high school degree said Trump was too weak on racism, with 47 percent saying he was “about right.”
- But among those with a college graduate degree -- a doctor, lawyer or Master’s or PhD -- 55 percent said he was too weak on racism, while 38 percent said Trump was “about right” in his Charlottesville response.
Jones polled 604 Idahoans from Aug. 23-30. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.