Disapproval of Trump on Race Has Ebbed a Bit Since Charlottesville

Eugene Scott reports that most of America disapproves of the way Donald Trump is handling race relations:

Nearly 60 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Trump is handling race relations, according to the most recent Quinnipiac University poll. The only group that gives him high marks are Republicans, with 76 percent. White men are the next highest, with half approving of Trump’s handling of race relations.

Unfortunately, this implicit suggestion that the public is getting ever more tired of Trump’s racial attacks is not the real story. Here’s the real story:

Scott alludes to this in the sixth paragraph in the most ambiguous possible way, but the plain story here is that disapproval of Trump on race has abated over the past year. This makes it awfully hard to suggest that these poll results “could be because of how the president handled race during the midterms.”

At least, I sure hope so. As Scott points out, Trump’s attitude toward race was pretty revolting during the midterms, and if this helped lead to a lower disapproval level then we’re in even worse shape than we thought.

As it happens, my guess is that this mild downward trend doesn’t mean much: it was probably just a combination of polling artifacts and the natural consequence of Charlottesville fading into the past. Most likely, Trump’s handling of race had no noticeable impact at all on how people graded his performace. Isn’t that bad enough?

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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