Nearly a year into Donald Trump’s presidency, most Americans (60%) say his election has led to worse race relations in the United States, according to Pew Research.
Just 8% say Trump’s election has led to better race relations, while 30% say it has not made a difference.
Shortly after Trump’s victory last year, voters had less negative expectations for how his election would affect race relations. In November 2016, nearly half (46%) said it would lead to worse race relations, while 25% expected his election to lead to improved race relations (another 26% expected little change).
In 2008, voters were more optimistic about how Barack Obama’s election would affect race relations than they were after Trump’s victory. In November 2008, 52% said Obama’s election would lead to better race relations in the country. Growing share of public says there is too little focus on race issues. year later, fewer Americans (36%) said race relations had improved, but just 13% said Obama’s election had made race relations worse. That was little changed from November 2008, when 9% of voters said Obama’s election would lead to worse race relations.
The national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 4 among 1,503 adults, finds that the public has negative assessments of the overall state of race relations in the U.S. A majority (56%) says race relations are generally bad, while 38% say they are generally good. Since May 2016, there has been an increase in the share of Americans who say race relations are getting worse – from 38% then to 44% today.
Over the same period, the share saying that too little attention is paid to race and racial issues also has risen. Today, 44% say too little attention is paid to racial issues, while 32% say there is too much focus on race; 19% say about the right amount of attention is paid to racial issues.
In May 2016, the public was divided over whether racial issues had received too much (36%) or too little (35%) attention; about a quarter (26%) said they had received about the right amount of attention. the survey finds that most Americans (65%) continue to say there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between blacks and whites in the U.S. However, far more (86%) say there are strong conflicts between Republicans and Democrats than say the same about conflicts between blacks and whites, young people and older adults, rich and poor people, and between those who live in rural and urban areas. (see “Far more Americans say there are strong conflicts between partisans than between other groups in society.”)