Around half of American voters believe Donald Trump is racist despite the US president saying he is the "least racist person in the world", according to a new poll.
The survey was conducted by Quinnipiac University several days after Mr Trump said a group of four congresswomen of colour should "go back" to the countries they came from, even though all four are US citizens.
The survey period, from 25-28 July, also included the day that Mr Trump launched a new attack on black congressman Elijah Cummings.
He called Mr Cummings “a brutal bully” and described his Baltimore district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess”.
The poll results come as Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for president enter a second round of debates. Nearly all of the 2020 candidates have roundly condemned Mr Trump’s remarks as racist and divisive.
The poll found that 51 per cent of voters think Mr Trump is racist while 45 per cent do not.
When separated by party, 86 per cent of Democratic voters classified Mr Trump as racist while 91 per cent of Republicans said he was not.
About 88 per cent of those who said Mr Trump was racist disapprove of the job he is doing as president, while 94 per cent of those who said he was not racist approve of his performance.
Other polls conducted by USA Today/Ipsos, The Economist/YouGov and Fox News in July 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”.
The US president also attacked civil rights leader Reverand Al Sharpton earlier this week. The president denounced Mr Sharpton on Twitter as “a con man” who “Hates Whites & Cops” and doubled down on his attacks against Mr Cummings.
Mr Trump also claimed he is the “least racist person in the world” following his comments attacking politicians of colour and civil rights figures.
The Quinnipac poll found that 41 per cent of survey respondents believe Mr Trump’s immigration policies are motivated by “racist beliefs”, compared with 49 per cent who ascribed them to “a sincere interest in controlling our borders”.
New York Times
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