Half of Voters Believe President Trump Is Racist, Poll Shows

About half of registered voters believe President Trump is racist, according to a new national poll released Tuesday, which showed voters are sharply divided along partisan lines on the question.

The survey was conducted by Quinnipiac University from July 25 to 28, several days after Mr. Trump said that a group of four congresswomen of color should “go back” to the countries they came from, even though all four are American citizens and three were born in the United States. The survey period also included the day that the president launched a new attack on Representative Elijah E. Cummings, a leading black congressman, calling him “a brutal bully” whose Baltimore-area district he characterized as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

The poll results come as Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for president prepare for a second round of debates, beginning Tuesday night in Detroit. Nearly all of the 2020 candidates have roundly condemned Mr. Trump’s remarks as racist and divisive.

The Quinnipiac poll found that 51 percent of voters think Mr. Trump is racist while 45 percent do not. When separated by party, 86 percent of Democratic voters classified Mr. Trump as racist while 91 percent of Republicans said he was not.

It was one of several surveys in recent days that have offered a window into how Americans are processing Mr. Trump’s comments and assessing his core beliefs. National polls conducted by USA Today/Ipsos, The Economist/YouGov and Fox News this month have shown that between half and two-thirds of Americans believe that telling someone to “go back” is a racist statement and that Mr. Trump’s tweets “cross the line.”

But respondents have also generally been slightly less inclined to label Mr. Trump himself as racist; only 44 percent of voters surveyed by The Economist/YouGov said they would use the word to describe Mr. Trump; about 41 percent of voters surveyed by Fox News said the president does not respect racial minorities.

On Monday, Mr. Trump again attacked a prominent black person —this time the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights leader. Mr. Trump denounced Mr. Sharpton on Twitter as “a con man” who “Hates Whites & Cops” and again assailed Mr. Cummings.

He also linked the clash with Mr. Cummings to his demand that the four Democratic congresswomen of color — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — leave the country.

Days after Mr. Trump’s first tweets about the congresswomen, the House passed a resolution, largely along party lines, condemning his remarks. Mr. Trump has denied that his words were racist and called the House resolution a “con game.”

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist,” Mr. Trump wrote on the day the House voted to condemn them. “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!

A separate Quinnipiac poll released Monday showed that American voters disapprove of the job Mr. Trump is doing as president by a 54 to 40 percent margin.The share of voters who disapprove of his performance is roughly in line with the share who says he is racist.

The poll released Tuesday found that 41 percent of survey respondents believe his immigration policies are motivated by “racist beliefs,” compared with 49 percent who ascribed them to “a sincere interest in controlling our borders.”

The poll surveyed 1,306 voters nationwide and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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