UVA Center for Politics poll: Majority believes race relations have worsened under Trump

donald trumpA new Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in conjunction with the UVA Center for Politics finds that a majority of Americans surveyed believe that race relations in the United States have gotten at least somewhat worse since President Donald Trump’s election.

The poll also explores American racial attitudes at the one-year anniversary of a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville last August.

Americans offered more mixed opinions on race relations looking back on President Barack Obama’s presidency, with roughly equal numbers saying race relations got better or got worse during his presidency.

Tables 1 and 2 shows how respondents felt about race relations during both the Trump and Obama presidencies. Americans believe by 57% to 15% that race relations have become worse since President Trump’s election. By contrast, respondents were evenly divided about Barack Obama’s time in the White House, with 38% believing race relations improved and 37% saying they worsened.

Table 1: “Since President Trump’s election, do you believe that race relations in America are better or worse?”

A lot betterSomewhat betterNo differentSomewhat worseA lot worseDon’t knowTotal BetterTotal Worse
4%11%22%17%39%7%15%57%

Table 2: “During President Obama’s presidency, do you believe that race relations in America became better or worse?”

A lot betterSomewhat betterNo differentSomewhat worseA lot worseDon’t knowTotal BetterTotal Worse
14%24%19%14%23%6%38%37%

The poll was conducted in advance of the first anniversary of a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville held on Aug. 12, 2017 and updates a previous Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics poll released on Sept. 14, 2017 measuring Americans’ racial attitudes. The new poll, conducted Aug. 2-6, 2018 and featuring 1,450 respondents, asked several of the same questions as the poll from last year.

Tables 3-5 show the recent poll results, the results from last year in response to the same questions, and the amount of change from 2017 to now.

Table 3: “Which comes closest to your opinion?”

StatementTotal Aug. 2018Total Sept. 2017Change
Confederate monuments should be removed from all public spaces (i.e. parks, public squares, court houses)25%26%-1%
Confederate monuments should remain in all public spaces (i.e. parks, public squares, court houses)56%57%-1%
Don’t know18%17%1%

Table 4: “Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statement(s)”

StatementLevel of agreementTotal Aug. 2018Total Sept. 2017Change
“Political correctness” threatens our liberty as Americans to speak our minds.Strongly agree38%35%3%
Somewhat agree24%25%-1%
Neither agree nor disagree15%18%-3%
Somewhat disagree6%8%-2%
Strongly disagree10%9%1%
Don’t know7%6%1%
America must protect and preserve its White European heritage.Strongly agree19%16%3%
Somewhat agree16%15%1%
Neither agree nor disagree26%29%-3%
Somewhat disagree8%9%-1%
Strongly disagree24%24%0%
Don’t know6%5%1%
Marriage should only be allowed between people of the same race.Strongly agree10%10%0%
Somewhat agree6%6%0%
Neither agree nor disagree13%14%-1%
Somewhat disagree8%6%2%
Strongly disagree57%59%-2%
Don’t know5%4%1%
People of different races should be free to live wherever they choose.Strongly agree72%70%2%
Somewhat agree14%15%-1%
Neither agree nor disagree7%8%-1%
Somewhat disagree2%3%-1%
Strongly disagree2%2%0%
Don’t know3%3%0%
All races are equal.Strongly agree70%70%0%
Somewhat agree12%12%0%
Neither agree nor disagree7%8%-1%
Somewhat disagree4%3%1%
Strongly disagree4%4%0%
Don’t know3%3%0%
White people are currently under attack in this country.Strongly agree19%19%0%
Somewhat agree24%20%4%
Neither agree nor disagree16%19%-3%
Somewhat disagree9%10%-1%
Strongly disagree28%28%0%
Don’t know5%4%1%
All races should be treated equally.Strongly agree81%80%1%
Somewhat agree10%9%1%
Neither agree nor disagree4%5%

 

Table 5: “Do you support or oppose the following group or movement?”

GroupLevel of supportTotal Aug. 2018Total Sept. 2017Change
Antifa?Strongly support3%3%0%
Somewhat support5%5%0%
Neither support not oppose16%20%-4%
Somewhat oppose5%6%-1%
Strongly oppose34%33%1%
Don’t know37%32%5%
Black Lives Matter?Strongly support20%18%2%
Somewhat support14%14%0%
Neither support not oppose21%24%-3%
Somewhat oppose8%8%0%
Strongly oppose28%29%-1%
Don’t know9%7%2%
The alt-right?Strongly support3%2%1%
Somewhat support4%4%0%
Neither support not oppose17%19%-2%
Somewhat oppose6%7%-1%
Strongly oppose42%45%-3%
Don’t know28%23%5%
White nationalism?Strongly support4%3%1%
Somewhat support4%4%0%
Neither support not oppose17%18%-1%
Somewhat oppose7%6%1%
Strongly oppose56%59%-3%
Don’t know12%10%2%
Neo Nazism?Strongly support2%2%0%
Somewhat support3%2%1%
Neither support not oppose8%10%-2%
Somewhat oppose4%4%0%
Strongly oppose72%73%-1%
Don’t know11%9%2%

As was the case in last year’s poll, few showed support for white nationalists and neo-Nazis. On the flip side, about a third of respondents did not express clear support for seemingly settled social issues, like support for interracial marriage. Americans generally showed a good deal of consistency on these questions between September 2017 and now. For instance, a majority of Americans both last year and now opposed the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces.

The full results and methodology from the new polling are available here and the crosstabs are available here.

The full results and methodology from the Sept. 2017 poll are available here and the crosstabs are available here.

 
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