While pundits and dinner party pontificators throughout President Trump's political career have argued that attitudes about race aren't a major factor in his popularity, a new survey from the Pew Research Center indicates otherwise. The poll shows a strong association between political leanings and views about whether white people experience advantages in society over other races — and identifies a correlation between these views and approval of Trump's performance as president.
The survey finds that 74 percent of people who believe white people do not have advantages also approve of Trump's job performance, and 60 percent approve strongly. Of those who merely think white people don't benefit "too much," 57 percent approve of Trump, while 36 percent approve strongly. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who share these beliefs are even more likely to be Trump fans: Eighty-nine percent think he's doing a good job. Conversely, 97 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who believe white people do benefit a "great deal" from privilege disapprove of Trump's work so far.
During his time in office, Trump has continued to push for a wall separating Mexico and the U.S.; blamed "both sides" for a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia; and, most recently, referred to athletes peacefully protesting racism and police brutality as "sons of bitches."
Overall, Pew found that 56 percent of Americans believe in white privilege of some kind. Specifically, 92 percent of black people believe white people benefit a "great deal," while only 46 percent of white respondents said they felt they benefited a "fair amount." See the full findings here.