Republicans on Capitol Hill rushed to disagree — directly or indirectly — with President Donald Trump’s comments on Charlottesville after his Tuesday press conference saying there was blame on "both sides." But Republican voters don’t seem too upset.
According to a new CBS poll, 67 percent of Republicans approve of the way Trump handled the Charlottesville aftermath, while 82 percent of Democrats disapproved. Still, a majority of Americans — 55 percent — did not like Trump’s post-attack reactions.
The poll of 1,223 Americans was done over the telephone from August 14 to 16. That means Trump’s infamous press conference on August 15 — where he morally equated neo-Nazis to leftist activist groups — occurred in the middle of the polling.
That’s not all. When pollsters asked “Is Trump’s description of who’s to blame accurate?” 68 percent of Republicans said it was. As for Democrats, 83 percent felt it wasn’t.
But there was some agreement on whether or not the murder of Heather Heyer was an act domestic terrorism: 51 percent of Republicans joined 73 percent of Democrats in saying so.
This comes on the heels of Wednesday’s Marist and NPR poll that revealed 59 percent of Republicans felt the president’s response was “strong enough.” Meanwhile, 79 percent of Democrats felt it could have been stronger; 52 of the total surveyed felt the same way.
It’s worth reiterating that despite the partisan divide, the CBS poll does show most Americans disagree with how Trump dealt with Charlottesville. And it should also be noted that most people surveyed disagree with Trump’s choice to blame “both sides” for violence. That’s because independents sided with Democrats in most of their responses.
The margin of error is plus/minus 4 percentage points.