Why Trump has grown more insistent on preserving Confederate icons
In the Public Religion Research Institute’s September 2015 American Values Survey (AVS), 60 percent of Republicans who thought that the Confederate flag symbolizes Southern pride rated Trump favorably. He was rated about 20 points less favorably among Republicans who thought the flag represents racism, but those individuals make up less than a fifth of the GOP.
But Trump grew disproportionately more popular among Confederate flag sympathizers in the party over the course of the campaign. In the October 2016 AVS, nearly 80 percent of Republicans who thought the flag symbolizes Southern pride rated Trump favorably, compared with just 45 percent of those who thought it represented racism.
… The upshot is that Trump voters were 50 points more likely than Clinton voters to say that the Confederate flag has more to do with Southern pride than racism in the 2016 AVS (80 percent to 30 percent, respectively), and 60 points more likely than Clinton supporters to oppose removing the statue of Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville (81 percent to 21 percent, respectively).