Nearly 1 in 10 Americans think neo-Nazi views okay, poll finds
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Nearly 1 in 10 Americans think neo-Nazi views okay, poll finds

Number of those not opposed to white supremacist ideology rises to 17% among Trump supporters, says Washington Post/ABC survey

A white supremacist carrying a Nazi flag into Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017. (AP/Steve Helber)
A white supremacist carrying a Nazi flag into Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017. (AP/Steve Helber)

A new poll indicates that nearly one in ten Americans believe that neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideology is “acceptable.”

The survey, which was published Monday by ABC News/Washington Post, was conducted in the wake of the violent white nationalist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a woman was killed when a white supremacist drove into a group of counter-protesters.

According to the poll of 1,014 respondents, 9 percent of people said that neo-Nazi views are okay to hold, while 83% said such ideology is “unacceptable” and 8% had no opinion.

Among Republicans, 13% said that neo-Nazi views were acceptable, and the number climbs to 17% among Trump supporters.

Respondents to the poll were also asked about the “alt-right,” a loosely defined group that counts among its ranks white supremacists and anti-Semites, with 10% saying they supported the group, while 50% said they oppose it and 41% said they have no opinion.

Although the alt-right prominently features white supremacists and neo-Nazis, only 39% of those polled said they believe the group holds such views, while 21% said it does not. Another 39% said they have no opinion.

The violent rally in Virginia, which saw hundreds of white supremacists marching through the college town to ostensibly protect Confederate statues, sent a chill through the American body politic, which only intensified when US President Donald Trump seemed to blame both the marchers and protesters.

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at Trump Tower, August 15, 2017 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at Trump Tower, August 15, 2017 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

Trump initially did not name white supremacists in his condemnation of the violence, although a day later he called neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan “repugnant.” Trump then later appeared to walk back his statement, saying there was “blame on both sides” for the violence.

Only 28% of respondents said they approved of Trump’s response to the rally, with 56% disapproving.

Asked if the US president equated white supremacists with counter-protesters, 42% said he did, while 23% said he did not.

Responses were split sharply between Republicans and Democrats. Sixty-two percent of Republicans said they approve of Trump’s response, while 28% of independents and only 6% of Democrats said they approve.

Despite disagreement among members of the two parties on Trump’s response, there was widespread disapproval on both sides of neo-Nazi views.

Overall, 37% said they approve of Trump’s presidency, while 58% said they disapprove.

The numbers were largely unchanged from an ABC News/Washington Post poll in July conducted prior to the Charlottesville rally.

The survey, which was done by Langer Research Associates, had a margin of error of 3.5 points. The party breakdown for the respondents was 33% Democrat, 22% Republican and 42% independent.

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