Poll: 44 percent of voters say Trump responds more fiercely to critics who aren't white

A plurality of voters — 44 percent — say they think President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE responds more fiercely to critics who aren’t white, according to a Hill-HarrisX poll released on Tuesday.

Forty percent of those surveyed said that they think the president treats critics the same, no matter their color. Just 15 percent of respondents said they think the president actually treats critics who aren't white less fiercely.

The results were divided heavily among party lines.

Nearly seven in 10 Democrats — 68 percent — said Trump treats critics of color more fiercely, compared to just 25 percent of Republicans who said the same. Thirty-six percent of those who identified as independents said they think the president treats people of color more fiercely.

Sixty-four percent of Republican voters said they think Trump treats all of his critics, regardless of race, the same. 

The poll comes amid renewed scrutiny on Trump’s rhetoric following two mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left more than 30 dead.

Shortly before his attack at a local Walmart, the El Paso gunman is believed to have posted an anti-immigrant and racist manifesto online warning of a “Hispanic invasion.”

President Trump sought to distance himself from the ideology espoused by the gunman, even though the president has repeatedly used the term “invasion” when talking about immigration. 

Trump used his national address on Monday to condemn “bigotry, hatred and white supremacy,” marking his strongest condemnation of white supremacy yet.

But Democrats, including several 2020 White House hopefuls, maintain that Trump has repeatedly stoked racial divisions and that his speech doesn’t necessarily absolve him from the inflammatory rhetoric he has long directed at immigrants as well as people of color.

Sen. Corey Booker (D-N.J.) dismissed the president’s speech addressing the shootings as “a bulls--- soup of ineffective words,” according to a message shared by his campaign manager on Twitter.

Other Democrats like former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) said Trump's rhetoric helped lead to the tragedy possible in the first place. 

"This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday's tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso," O'Rourke who previously represented El Paso, tweeted on Monday.

In the weeks leading up to the mass shootings, Trump launched a series of attacks against several minority lawmakers.

Trump came under fire last week after he lashed out at House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Cher offers to pay legal fees for security guard fired for repeating racial slur Baltimore mayor looks to rename downtown courthouse after Cummings MORE, a powerful black congressman whose committee is currently investigating the administration. The president characterized Cummings’s hometown of Baltimore as a “disgusting” and “rodent infested” city.

The president also recently lashed out at a group of freshman House Democrats known as “the Squad,” including Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders MORE (Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders MORE and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Omar endorses Sanders presidential bid MORE (Mass.).

The president told the congresswomen — all of whom are women of color — to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Those attacks were denounced by Democrats and some Republicans as racist.

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted online from August 3-4 among 1,001 registered voters. The sampling margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn