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Trump's Approval Among Republicans Went Up After His Racist Tweets

The country as a whole thinks they're awful, but his approval ratings in his own party went up this week.

by Tim Marcin
Jul 17 2019, 12:34pm

Republican voters don’t seem to mind the racist tweets President Trump fired off this week. In fact, a new poll released Wednesday shows support for the president among the GOP actually rose just after his attacks on the four congresswomen of color known as “The Squad.”

The national survey from Reuters/Ipsos found Trump’s net approval among Republicans climbed by 5 percent from the previous week, up to 72 percent.

The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday. Trump tweeted on Sunday that the lawmakers — freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.” Trump refused to back down on Monday and Tuesday, saying it was the The Squad that was spewing “racist hatred,” not him.

Overall, the Reuters/Ipsos poll found Trump’s approval rating held steady at 41 percent. That’s a pretty average result for Trump:. The FiveThirtyEight’s approval rating tracker has his all-time high at about 48 percent and his low-point around 36 percent. The Reuters poll did show support among independents took a slight dip, with to about three out of every 10 approving of Trump’s job performance, down from four in 10 the week before.

Vincent Hutchings, a political science and African American studies professor at the University of Michigan, told Reuters the poll seems to show the GOP sees the attacks as little more than another disagreement with liberals.

READ MORE: Trump is tripling down on his racist tweets about “the squad.” Republicans are silent.

“To Republicans, Trump is simply saying: ‘Hey, if you don’t like America, you can leave,” Hutchings told the outlet. “That is not at all controversial. If you already support Trump, then it’s very easy to interpret his comments that way.”

The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 1,113 adults. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for the entire group and 5 percentage points for Democrats and Republicans.

A different survey this week from YouGov actually polled voters on their response to Trump telling the congresswomen to go back to where they came from. Respondents could say it was “great,” “good,” “OK,” “bad” or “terrible.” Among GOP respondents, few disagreed with the tweet. Forty-eight percent of Republicans said it was “great,” while just 8 percent said the tweet was “bad” and 5 percent said it was “terrible.”

Among all respondents, a majority of voters — 52 percent — said the tweet was either “bad” or “terrible.”

READ MORE: Ilhan Omar says Trump is encouraging death threats against her

A poll from USA Today on Wednesday showed that 68 percent of people who were aware of the controversy thought the tweets were offensive, but that there was a stark divide along party lines: a majority of GOP respondents, 57 percent, agreed with the tweet telling the women to “go back” to other countries.

Even if most people didn’t like the racist tweets, the president is unlikely to stop his attacks. He was still going on Wednesday morning, tweeting a quote from Republican Louisiana Senator John Kennedy calling the women “wack jobs” and “the four horsewomen of the apocalypse.”

Cover: President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)