Majority says Trump's behavior encourages white supremacists: poll

A majority of Americans in a new poll believe President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems want tougher language on election security in defense bill Five aides to Van Drew resign ahead of his formal switch to GOP The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE's behavior encourages white supremacists.

A Public Religion Research Institute poll published Monday found that 54 percent of respondents think Trump's decisions and behavior as president have encouraged members of white supremacist groups.

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Trump has faced criticism for not consistently condemning white supremacism, including when he initially said that "both sides" were to blame for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last August.

The poll released Monday also found that 58 percent of those polled disapprove of Trump's performance as president, including 42 percent of people who strongly disapprove. The poll found that 41 percent of respondents approved of his performance.

Additionally, nearly seven in 10 adults polled think Trump has hurt the dignity of the presidency or wish that he would behave more similarly to his predecessors. 

The poll also found that, among those who plan to vote for Democratic candidates in next week's midterms, 48 percent said they are voting in an effort to oppose Trump and his agenda.

PRRI CEO Robert Jones said in a statement that Trump is "unquestionably casting a long shadow over the midterm elections.”

“Attitudes toward the president appear to be driving not only the intensity of attitudes on key issues such as immigration and racial equality but the likelihood of voting among groups such as African American women who are strongly opposed to the president and white men who strongly favor the president," he said. 

The poll's results were based on interviews with a random sample of 2,509 adults in the United States from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1. The poll has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.