Fox News poll: 63% think Trump’s Squad tweets “crossed the line,” 57% think he doesn’t respect racial minorities

It makes me laugh every time he complains about Fox News for being only 98 percent in the tank for him, which he did again last night, and nothing would be funnier than him declaring a Fox poll “fake news” on Twitter.

So let’s get the righty media ball rolling on Fox’s latest one and see if maybe the data will end up on his radar eventually.

“Do you feel Donald Trump’s recent tweets, in which he criticizes four minority Democratic congresswomen and tells them to go back to the countries they came from, were an acceptable political attack or did those tweets cross the line?” Fox asked. The good news for him is that a majority of his own party gave the proper loyalist answer and said the attacks were acceptable. The bad news is that they were virtually the only demographic that did, and even the Republican split was sufficiently narrow that you’re left with a strong sense here that loyalty is the *only* reason why some answered the way they did.

Democrats are -80(!) on balance on the question. Republicans are +20. Normally you’d expect approximately equal inverse partisan results on questions about Trump. A gap like that suggests that righties were pretty grossed out by his tweets too. The real tell, perhaps, is the split among whites without a college degree, a core part of Trump’s working-class base. They’re at 32/56, also decisively against him on this.

How about on the follow-up question, “Do you think Donald Trump respects racial minorities?” The last time Fox polled that subject, in August 2017, Americans split 41/56 on yes/no. Their opinion has since deterioiated further:

Republicans are a bit more firmly in his corner here, although again there’s a mismatch between them and Democrats in how they feel about the subject — and independents tilt far towards the negative at 25/62. Again, whites without a degree come down against Trump on this one, albeit narrowly at 42/47. In particular, both here and in the “cross the line” question, white women are strongly negative. But then, that’s a chronic problem for Trump. His chances of reelection rest heavily on men, just as the other party’s rest heavily on women.

So he did himself no favors with the Squad episode but he hasn’t hurt himself either. His job approval is 46/51, up slightly since last month, and his approval in handling the economy is a healthy 52/41. It may be that the “go back where you came from” stuff is already mostly priced into his political stock. It was gross even for him, but he’s routinely gross so how much can one really expect people’s opinions to shift? Speaking of the Squad, Fox also asked Americans about AOC and Ilhan Omar and found something interesting: They’re becoming more popular — *relatively* speaking.

Ocasio-Cortez stands at 34/41 favorability while Omar stands at 26/37, but the gap has closed a bit for each since the last time Fox asked about them. Maybe Trump’s attacks generated a bit of sympathy for them among the public, or at least enhanced Democrats’ partisan tribal identification with them. But it may be as simple as the two of them gradually becoming better known over time to voters in their own party. AOC has been underwater in favorability since practically the day she was sworn in as a congresswoman because righty media follows her closely and thus more righties know who she is. Liberals don’t pay quite as much attention to her, thus her favorables lag her unfavorables. But maybe that’ll change now that Trump has made the Squad national figures.

Which reminds me of an interesting new result from a different poll, this from Morning Consult. MC asked Americans if they thought the four members of the Squad represent the views of Democrats in Washington. Result:

A plurality of Americans say yes, the far-left wackaloon AOC and crew do indeed accurately reflect the views of congressional Democrats. That’s exactly what Trump wants Americans to think by attacking them: If he can make the Squad’s radicalism the face of the party, he can scare swing voters into sticking with him instead. Although as you scan the numbers there, you discover something surprising — it’s Democrats, not Republicans, who say AOC etc. represent the views of Washington Democrats. It’s not the opposition party that’s insisting that all Dems are as fringey as Ocasio-Cortez. It’s … her own party.

Although, if we’re being charitable, it may be that most of these people are merely ignoramuses, know little of the Squad’s politics, and are naturally assuming that they represent Democrats in Washington since they are, in fact, Democrats in Washington. Many Dems may falsely believe that AOC is a garden variety center-left liberal. Anyway, turns out when you ask the same question about whether Nancy Pelosi represents Democrats in Washington, the numbers soar to 58/18. Pelosi is still more of a face of the party than Ocasio-Cortez is.

Morning Consult also asked about Trump’s tweets, incidentally. Results: A majority, 53/31, thought they were racist and a bigger majority, 58/27, thought the “send her back” chant aimed at Ilhan Omar during his North Carolina rally was. I’m curious to see how he plays it the next time the chanting happens.

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