Nearly 20 percent of whites polled say blackface acceptable
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Nearly 20 percent of white respondents in a recent poll said it was acceptable for a white person to wear blackface, compared to 57 percent who said it was unacceptable.

Sixteen percent of respondents overall in the Economist and YouGov poll responded that a white person wearing blackface was acceptable, compared to 58 percent who said it was unacceptable and 26 percent who said they were not sure.

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White people were much more likely to find another white person wearing blackface acceptable compared to black people. And Republicans were more likely to find it acceptable than Democrats — the party now roiled by revelations that Virginia's Democratic governor and attorney general both wore blackface while they were younger men. 

Only six percent of black respondents said it was acceptable for a white person to wear blackface, compared to 73 percent who said it was unacceptable and 21 percent who said they were not sure. 

Eight percent of Hispanic respondents said it was acceptable, and 21 percent of people who said their race was "other" said it was acceptable.

Along party lines, 29 percent of Republicans polled said it was acceptable for a white person to wear blackface, compared to 44 percent who said it was unacceptable and 27 percent who said they were unsure.

Just six percent of Democrats polled said it was acceptable, compared to 81 percent who said it was unacceptable and 14 percent who said they were unsure.

Among the independents surveyed, 16 percent said it was acceptable, 50 percent said unacceptable and 34 percent said they were unsure.

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The poll surveyed 1,500 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has rejected calls from both Republicans and Democrats to resign after a photo from his medical school yearbook page surfaced showing a man in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan robes. Northam initially apologized and said he was in the photo, then backtracked, now saying he does not believe either person in the photo is him.

Democrats in the Economist-YouGov poll (55 percent) were more likely than Republicans (35 percent) to say that Northam should step down, though about one-third of all respondents said they had “heard nothing at all” about the situation.

About one-fourth of Democrats and Republicans polled said they are not sure if Northam should resign. Forty percent of all respondents said Northam should resign, with the remainder equally split between “should not resign” and “not sure.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted that he had worn blackface when dressing up as a rapper in college — days after he called for Northam's resignation.

The state's lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, is facing accusations of sexual assault stemming from an incident in 2004, which also became public this week. He has denied the accusations.