Poll: Nine percent of Americans say it is ‘acceptable’ to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views

Poll: Nine percent of Americans say it is ‘acceptable’ to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views
Members of the Ku Klux Klan hold a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8, 2017 to protest the planned removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, who oversaw Confederate forces in the U.S. Civil War. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 9 percent of respondents believe it is “acceptable” to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

In the wake of a violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 9 percent of people in the U.S. believe it is “acceptable” to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views, a number equivalent to approximately 22 million Americans.

The poll — conducted shortly after a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that left a counterprotester, Heather Heyer, dead — also found that 83 percent call these views unacceptable. Eight percent offered no opinion.

Ten percent of respondents said they support the so-called alt-right movement. Fifty percent of respondents said they oppose the ‘alt-right,’ an ideology seen to embrace white nationalism and anti-Semitism. The poll indicated that the so-called alt-right still isn’t widely understood by Americans as 4 in 10 couldn’t say whether the ideology holds neo-Nazi or white supremacist views.

The poll found that 13 percent of men, as well as 13 percent of self-identified Republicans and “strong conservatives” said it was acceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views. Fourteen percent of young adults called such views acceptable, as well as 17 percent of respondents who “strongly approve of the president’s work in office.”

Americans don’t approve of Trump’s Charlottesville response

President Donald Trump’s overall job approval rating is just 37 percent, according to the poll, while 58 percent disapprove. Only 28 percent of respondents said they approve of the president’s response to the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump initially failed to specifically condemn white nationalism in his remarks about the event, merely condemning violence on “many sides.”

He later condemned “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups” in remarks two days after the rally.

But during an infrastructure news conference on Aug. 15 at Trump Tower in New York, critics said Trump lost whatever credibility he had regained when the president told reporters: “I think there’s blame on both sides.”

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Aug. 16-20, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,014 adults.

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