On Wednesday, Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shared its poll indicating what Americans think of Donald Trump. Through the center's revelations, observers learned that a majority of Americans think Trump is racist. But the Associated Press poll revealed something even more surprising and perhaps much more reflective of the subjects polled, not the president. For the record, Trump has denied being racist. In fact, he's described himself as the "least racist person."
When asked whether Trump’s policies targeting Muslim and Latino communities were harmful, at least 43 percent of the polled subjects said that his policies weren’t destructive for Muslim communities in the United States. In addition to that, at least 44 percent said that they did not think Trump’s policies centered on Latino communities were harmful. Other questions asked in the poll involved public perception of how well Trump was doing as a president. The poll said that 45 percent of the white participants gave a thumbs-up to his performance.
While it may seem obvious, it's worth remembering that Trump's policies do hurt the aforementioned minority groups. For example, consider Trump's targeting of undocumented Latino community members through immigration policy, increased deportation, and anti-immigrant sentiment, as well as the fact that Trump signed the travel ban targeting Muslim majority countries. In more than one case, Trump's policies have torn families apart.
While speaking with the AP, Wellesley College's American Studies professor Michael Jefferies said the results (that Americans think Trump is racist) weren't shocking to him. "I don’t think there’s really much question what’s going on here," he told the AP. "You don’t have to look far back to see how inequality has been sustained and exacerbated in this country."
Further into the poll, party alliances revealed what Democrats and Republicans thought of Trump. Only 14 percent of polled Republicans believe that Trump's policies toward African-Americans have been negative. In contrast to that, a solid 73 percent of Democrats said that Trump's policies for African-Americans in the country were noxious.
Another question posed by the research center dug into understanding what people thought of systematic disadvantages that others might face. In other words, which group in the United States did the survey-takers think had an advantage or disadvantage in "getting ahead" socially and economically speaking? Depending on the community they were asked to comment on, the responders had different ideas for different groups.
For instance, 60 percent thought that Muslims faced "some or large disadvantage" in progressing in American society. Another 52 percent thought that LGBTQ members of the country faced significant challenges in getting ahead. And 59 percent said that immigrants, as a collective, faced systematic disadvantage. In the poll, 62 percent believed that men had "large" advantage in making it in the United States while 45 percent thought women in America don't have it easy.
The AP research center said that it polled 1,337 adults within the time span of Feb. 15 to Feb. 19. "The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points," the AP said. Out of the 1,337 people polled, 388 were black Americans and the margin of sampling error for them was "plus or minus 7.3 percentage points." The research center said that it polled the respondents through online surveys or phone.
This won't be the first time that a poll revealed what Americans thought of Trump. In January, another and yet similar poll delved into seeing what American respondents thought of Trump's attitude toward black Americans. The poll, conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News in January, asked participants if they thought the president was racist against black people.
The Post and ABC News' polling chart for the study showed that 80 percent of Democrats "strongly" believed that Trump was biased against black people while less than 20 percent believed that Trump wasn't prejudiced. On the flip side, almost 80 percent of Republicans said Trump was not racist against black people while less than 20 percent of polled Republicans said that he was.
As far as the AP poll is concerned, the participants weren't limited to checking or crossing yes and no responses in the poll. They also had some definitive words for the president. One respondent, Ralph Loud, shared his thoughts with AP and said, "He makes my blood boil because of the things he does and the things he says. We ain’t going to get better as a country. We need new leadership."