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Poll: Republicans, Dems split on Trump's response to Virginia attack

By Ed Adamczyk
Poll: Republicans, Dems split on Trump's response to Virginia attack
A CBS News poll Thursday showed Democratic and Republican respondents saw President Donald Trump's reaction to the events in Charlottesville differently. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Disagreement over President Donald Trump's reaction to violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., is divided along partisan lines, a survey revealed Thursday.

Two-thirds of respondents to a CBS News poll agreed that the killing of a protester on Saturday by a man who drove his car into a crowd of demonstrators was an act of "domestic terrorism."

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The violence erupted before a "Unite the Right" rally, which was organized to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. The event drew hundreds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members, as well as counter-protesters. One of them drove his car into the crowd, killing Heather Heyer.

Trump's description of the weekend's events on Tuesday, in which he blamed "many sides" for the violence, was not accurate, 55 percent of respondents said.

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Thirty-five 35 percent said it was accurate. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans said it was an accurate statement, and 83 percent of Democrats said it was inaccurate.

The poll, which was started before Trump's remarks, showed more people (58 percent) disapproved of his response when they were asked on Tuesday and Wednesday, than on Monday -- when 52 percent disapproved.

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Twelve percent of those surveyed believe Trump's policies have encouraged racial unity. Forty-four percent said they have caused division, and 39 percent said they have had little effect.

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Democrats had a starkly different view -- with 3 percent seeing unity, 70 percent seeing division and 24 percent seeing no effect. Of independents, 11 percent saw unity, 43 percent saw division and 40 percent saw little effect.

The survey polled more than 1,200 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of plus or minus four points.

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