A new University of Virginia poll conducted to gauge the public's view of race after the clashes in Charlottesville last month found wide backing for keeping Civil War statues to Confederate leaders in place and 31 percent support for protecting America's "white European heritage."

The survey, done by Reuters/Ipsos, was released Thursday by the school's Center for Politics also found that 14 percent believe whites are under attack.

The results were a bit of a shock to the Center.

"As is often the case, these survey results can be interpreted in two quite different ways. On the one hand, despite the events in Charlottesville and elsewhere, few people surveyed expressed direct support for hate groups. But on the other hand, it will be disturbing to many that a not insubstantial proportion of those polled demonstrated neutrality and indifference or, worse, expressed support for antiquated views on race," said the analysis from the center headed by Larry Sabato.

He said, "Let's remember, there are nearly 250 million adults in the United States, so even small percentages likely represent the beliefs of many millions of Americans."

The findings the Center found notable:

  • 31% strongly or somewhat agreed that the country needs to "protect and preserve its White European heritage."
  • 39% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that "white people are currently under attack in this country."
  • 16% agreed with the statement that "marriage should only be allowed between two people of the same race."
  • 14% of all respondents both agreed that white people are under attack and disagreed with the statement that nonwhites are under attack.
  • 57% said that Confederate monuments should remain in public spaces, while a quarter, 26%, said they should be removed.
  • Among African Americans, 54% said all monuments should be removed versus 25% who were inclined to keep all monuments where they are. Whites strongly differed, with two-thirds (67%) saying they should remain in place and just 19% favoring removal.
  • 8% said they strongly or somewhat support Antifa versus 33% strongly opposing Antifa and another 6% somewhat opposing (39% total opposing).
  • Roughly one-third of respondents (32%) said they supported Black Lives Matter, and another 24% indicated a middle position of neither supporting nor opposing.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com