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New poll reveals how most Americans feel about Confederate statues

A new NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll shows that a majority of Americans think Confederate statues should be left alone in light of last weekend's terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Ty Wright/Getty Images)

A new poll released Thursday shows a majority of Americans want to keep Confederate statues in place to "honor" fallen leaders of the South.

According to an NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll, which was conducted among 1,125 U.S. citizens by phone Aug. 14-15, the overwhelming majority — 62 percent — want the monuments to remain while a much smaller share of Americans — 27 percent — want them removed.

The polling comes as the national debate over whether such monuments to Confederate leaders should be left alone, be removed or be relocated. Last weekend's violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, was sparked by the city's effort to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

During the demonstration, a white supremacist allegedly drove his car into a crowd, killing 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer. Two Virginia State Police officers also died in a helicopter crash as they responded to the violence.

Since Charlottesville, a number of cities and states have taken steps to address the existence of other Confederate monuments.

The mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, for example, pushed for two Confederate statues to be relocated to a nearby veterans cemetery. And in Baltimore, city leaders quietly removed four Confederate statues in the dark of night.

Meanwhile, the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, which is the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, called on cities and states across the country to take down Confederate statues and rename roads and highways named for Confederate leaders.

President Donald Trump weighed in on the controversy via Twitter on Thursday. The president's position on the hot-button issue seemingly aligned with that of the majority of Americans.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!" Trump tweeted.

(H/T: Daily Caller)

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