Voters Are Much Less Optimistic About Black-White Relations

Rasmussen Reports, October 6, 2010

Perceptions about the state of black-white relations in America have fallen dramatically since the summer of 2009. But voters are still more optimistic about that relationship than they are about relations between whites and Hispanics and between blacks and Hispanics.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 36% of voters now say relations between blacks and whites are getting better. That’s down from 62% in July of last year at the height of the controversy involving a black Harvard professor and a white policeman. That number had fallen only slightly to 55% in April of this year.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) now say black-white relations are getting worse, up 10 points from July 2009, while 33% think they’re staying about the same. {snip}

African-Americans are much more pessimistic than whites. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of whites think black-white race relations are getting better, but just 13% of blacks agree.

{snip}

Only 21% of all voters now think race relations between whites and Hispanics are improving, down seven points from April and down 19 points from last December. Fifty percent (50%) say they are getting worse, and 24% say they’re remaining about the same.

Similarly, just 16% say race relations between blacks and Hispanics are getting better. Thirty-four percent (34%) say they are worsening and 24% staying the same. However, 26% are undecided. These findings are basically unchanged from December.

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Interestingly, 59% of African-American voters continue to believe the country is moving in the right direction, a view shared by just 27% of whites.

Confidence in relations with Hispanics has undoubtedly been soured by the growing national concern with illegal immigration, which many view largely as a problem coming from Mexico. Support is high nationally for Arizona’s new law cracking down on illegal immigration, a statute that has drawn loud protest from the Mexican government.

Most Americans don’t believe Mexico wants to stop the illegal flow of its citizens into this country and think America’s southern neighbor should be asked to compensate U.S. taxpayers for costs incurred by illegal immigration.

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