Matt Johnson / CC BY 2.0

Just when it seemed as if the bar couldn’t go any lower, a new poll has found that nearly one in five supporters of Donald Trump don’t approve of the freeing of slaves in the Confederacy.

The orange-skinned GOP presidential front-runner has been likened to the late segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace for running a political campaign based in large part on bigotry and intolerance. The results of the YouGov/Economist survey offer a terrifying insight into his voter base.

The January poll asked respondents if they approved or disapproved of “the executive order that freed all slaves in the states that were in rebellion against the federal government.”

From Vox:

That executive order is better known as the Emancipation Proclamation. Thirteen percent of respondents—and “nearly 20 percent of Trump supporters,” the Times reports, compared with 5 percent of Marco Rubio’s—said they disapproved of it.

It gets even worse. An additional 17 percent of respondents said they weren’t sure.

Before asking about slavery, YouGov first asked two broader poll questions about executive orders: Do you approve of them, and do you think they’re constitutional? Then pollsters asked about specific presidential actions, including freeing the slaves, desegregating the military, interning Japanese Americans during World War II and deferring deportation for some unauthorized immigrants.

Framing the question this way is a reminder that one of Lincoln’s greatest acts, and a turning point in American history, was also a controversial exercise of presidential power. And it’s stunning how many people can’t bring themselves to say they approve of it.

Read more here.

—Posted by Roisin Davis


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