Byron York, Campaign 2012, August 24, 2011
Just 35 percent of Americans believe race relations have improved since Barack Obama became president, according to a new Gallup poll. Forty-one percent say race relations haven’t changed, and 23 percent say race relations have actually gotten worse under the nation’s first African-American president. Put together, that’s 64 percent of Americans who say race relations are no better or have gotten worse during Obama’s presidency.
The new numbers are a stark contrast to the hope that accompanied Obama’s election. The day after Obama won the presidency in November 2008, Gallup found that 70 percent of Americans predicted race relations would improve with Obama as president.
Breaking the results down by race, 48 percent of black Americans say race relations have improved under Obama, while 27 percent say they have not changed and 24 percent say they’ve gotten worse. Among whites, 31 percent say race relations have improved, versus 45 percent who say they haven’t changed and 22 percent who say they have gotten worse. By a small margin, then, a higher percentage of blacks than whites say race relations have gotten worse under Obama.
[Editor’s Note: See the original Gallup results here.]