PBS/NPR Poll: Most Americans Think Confederate Statues Should Stay

August 18, 2017 Last Updated: August 18, 2017

A new poll from Marist College, PBS, and NPR carried out this week has found that 62 percent of Americans think that Confederate statues shouldn’t be taken down.

Only 27 percent believe that they should be removed, according to the poll.

Two-thirds of white and Latinos believe the statues should remain. African-Americans are divided on the issue, with 44 percent agreeing that they should stay. Forty percent believe they should go.

DURHAM, NC - AUGUST 17:  A statue on the portal of Duke University Chapel bearing the likeness of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was vandalized on early August 17, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. The statue is one of 10 historical figures adorning the exterior of the chapel; the group includes significant figures from the American South and the Protestant and Methodist traditions.  (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
A statue on the portal of Duke University Chapel bearing the likeness of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was vandalized on early August 17, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

The poll was conducted among 1,125 U.S. citizens by phone on Aug. 14 and Aug. 15.

It comes amid a debate over whether the monuments to Confederate soldiers and generals should be removed, relocated, or left alone. On Saturday, a violent protest in Charlottesvile, Virginia, erupted around the the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. A white supremacist was arrested for ramming his car into a crowd of people, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

Virginia State Troopers stand under a statue of Robert E. Lee before a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Virginia State Troopers stand under a statue of Robert E. Lee before a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Virginia State Police in riot gear stand in front of the statue of General Robert E. Lee before forcing white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" out of Emancipation Park after the "Unite the Right" rally was declared an unlawful gathering Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Virginia State Police in riot gear stand in front of the statue of General Robert E. Lee before forcing white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” out of Emancipation Park after the “Unite the Right” rally was declared an unlawful gathering Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

There have been calls to remove statues in other cities as well. In Baltimore, city leaders quickly removed four Confederate statues in the dead of night.

Trump weighed in on the matter, arguing that it smacks of historical revisionism.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson—who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!” Trump wrote.