A new national poll from Suffolk University suggests that not much has changed in the race over the last week or so. It has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by about seven points, slightly over the current polling average.
Buried deep in the poll, though, is a remarkable bit of data. On page 160 we learn that 7 percent of Trump voters think he is a racist.
That's a relatively low figure, mind you, compared to the views of most other demographic groups. Overall, 44 percent of repondents said that, yes, in their view the Republican nominee for president was racist, compared to 47 percent who said no. Democrats and black voters were most likely to say that he was (76 percent and 83 percent respectively), suggesting that Trump's recent overtures to the latter group (to the extent that they were sincere) haven't exactly solved his problem. Six in 10 Hispanics said they thought Trump was racist, with a third disagreeing, which is, I guess, good news.
But there at the end, that awkward 7 percent.
We've seen similar results before. Last week a Quinnipiac University poll asked people a slightly different question: Did they think that Trump's rhetoric appealed to bigotry? Most did.
As I wrote at the time:
Even worse for Trump, a plurality of every demographic save Republicans felt that he appealed to bigotry, including majorities of independents, men, women, whites with or without college degrees, people aged 64 or younger and both whites and nonwhites. Among all whites, 54 percent felt that Trump appeals to bigotry (with 50 percent of white men agreeing). Among nonwhites, the figure was 72 percent. (With 29 percent of Republicans saying they think he appeals to bigotry and 84 percent supporting him, that means that at least 13 percent of Republicans both think he appeals to bigotry and plan to give him their vote.)
Presumably, Suffolk's 7 percent of Trump backers who think he is racist fit into that 13 percent.
If we broaden the question even more, as The Post did in its August poll with ABC News, the numbers are bigger. We asked if people thought Trump was biased against women or minorities, and 60 percent of Americans said that he was. What's more, a fifth of Republican men and a quarter of Republican women said he was, to some degree.
We've pointed out repeatedly that this is almost certainly a problem for Trump as he tries to solidify support from moderate Republicans and independents. That's true, but now we can definitively say that viewing Trump as racist is not necessarily an insurmountable problem for voters. That 7 percent must really dislike Hillary Clinton.
Or maybe they, you know, don't really have a problem with racism.