- The Washington Times - Monday, November 5, 2018

Nearly half of Americans blame President Trump for spurring political violence, slightly more than those who say the same for news media, according to a new poll released over the weekend.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that 49 percent of American adults said Mr. Trump’s aggressive tone toward the media and political foes encourages politically motivated violence. Only 19 percent said he is working to discourage it, while 29 percent said the president doing nothing to influence violence.

However, blame on the president only slightly outweighed the 47 percent that said the media was responsible. More than 30 percent said the media is a neutral component, and 15 percent said they are working to undermine political violence.

Just 16 percent said it was an issue that both sides should take responsibility for.

The question of blame comes after three apparently politically motivated attacks shocked Americans in recent weeks — the Kroger shooting, the synagogue shooting, the mail bomb plot.

This issue of political violence looms over the upcoming midterms, now only a day away. Nearly 70 percent reported that addressing America’s deep political rifts was a “highly important issue” for congressional races.

The media continues to highlight Mr. Trump’s rhetoric, which has not scaled down in light of the violence, and links it to those who carried out the attacks.

For his part, the president has repeatedly denounced politically motivated violence, but he also blamed the media for inciting intense anger across the country.

Mr. Trump and his White House continued to deny having a role in encouraging violence.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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