Poll: Donald Trump supporters veer towards bigotry

Supporters of US presidential candidate Donald Trump are more likely to describe black people as ‘criminal,’ ‘unintelligent,’ ‘lazy’ and ‘violent’ than voters who backed some Republican rivals in the primaries or who support Democratic contender Hillary Clinton, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.

Ahead of the November 8 election to replace Barack Obama, the first black US president, the poll also showed significant numbers of Americans in the Republican and Democratic parties view blacks more negatively than whites, have anxiety about living in diverse neighbourhoods, and are concerned that affirmative action policies discriminate against whites.

Republicans in the survey expressed these concerns to a greater degree than Democrats, with Trump supporters presenting the most critical views of blacks.

The poll, conducted between March and June, interviewed 16,000 Americans and included 21 questions on attitudes about race.

It sought responses from voters who support Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and her rival US senator Bernie Sanders.

It also surveyed supporters of US senator Ted Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich, the last two Republican candidates to drop out of the race.

“Mr Trump is an egalitarian who believes in supporting and protecting all people equally,” said Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior policy adviser.

“This is a stark contrast to Hillary Clinton, whose policies have been a disaster for African-American and Hispanic citizens.”

When asked about where they wanted to live, 36% of Trump followers said, “I prefer to live in a community with people who come from diverse cultures”, compared with 46% of Cruz supporters, 55% of Kasich supporters and 70% who backed Clinton.


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