Despite Harsh Rebuke for Charlottesville Stance, Trump's Base Remains Loyal

In protests around the world, the anti-Trump resistance has asserted this week that the white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville last week were to blame for the violence that ensued. (Photo: Majka Czapski/Flickr/cc)

Despite Harsh Rebuke for Charlottesville Stance, Trump's Base Remains Loyal

In new poll, 87 percent of Republicans said they, like Trump, believe "both sides" were to blame for violence that killed counter-protester

While many in the news media, in Washington, across social media, and in the streets have swiftly condemned President Donald Trump for his comments asserting that both the white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia and the counter-protesters who demonstrated against the so-called "Unite the Right" rally were to blame for the ensuing violence, a new poll shows that many Republicans agree with him.

In a SurveyMonkey poll, 2,181 respondents were presented with a direct quote from Trump's unruly Tuesday press conference: "You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent."

While most Democrats and Independents disagreed, 87 percent of Republicans backed the statement.

A growing number of conservative establishment members have attempted to distance themselves from the president's comments in recent days, including eight members of Trump's manufacturing council, causing him to disband the group; Rupert Murdoch's son James Murdoch, head of 21st Century Fox; and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But the poll results suggest that as more GOP figures pivot away from the president's rhetoric, they're also distancing themselves from a loyal Trump base which is reluctant to criticize even his most contentious viewpoints.

More recent poll results show further evidence that while the Trump resistance movement is active and vocal, the president's biggest fans are showing few signs of budging in their support.

A CBS poll released Thursday found that 67 percent of Republicans approved of the way Trump handled the violence in Charlottesville, while 82 percent of Democrats disapproved. Only 51 percent of Republicans said they would classify Heather Heyer's murder as an act of domestic terrorism. Many expressed alarm about the seemingly unbreakable hold Trump appears to have on his base.

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