Poll: Trump Seen As Great Divider, Race Relations Expected To Worsen During Term

A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that most Americans expect race relations to deteriorate even more under newly elected Republican President Donald Trump.

Researchers found that 52 percent of Americans now expect the issue of race to become an even more troubled subject during the Trump administration, compared to just 26 percent of respondents who expect the situation to improve.

A deeper analysis of the numbers shows that opinions are greatly divided along partisan lines, with 79 percent of Democrats indicating they expect things to get worse under Trump, while 63 percent of Republicans insist they envision matters actually improving.

Thus far at least, researchers also found Trump has yet to stoke much confidence among independents, with 54 percent of them also insisting they see race relations getting worse under him compared to just 24 percent of those who see things from the other end of the spectrum.

Overall, 51 percent of registered voters indicated they think race relations have gotten worse over the last year, compared with just 10 percent who believe things have improved.

Donald Trump has yet to donate his salary as promised

Even among some of his most ardent supporters, Trump comes up short on the issue, with 61 percent of Tea Party supporters and 49 percent of conservatives overall admitting that they see things getting worse in that area during his time in the Oval Office.

Marist College Institute for Public Opinion Director Lee Miringoff stresses that the pessimism on the issue goes beyond racial boundaries, with 60 percent of Latinos, 57 percent of African-Americans and 50 percent of whites all expressing dread that things have gotten worse over the last year.

“Usually, it’s a different response from different groups,” Miringoff said. “But it’s practically uniform among blacks, whites and Latinos that it will deteriorate.”

Under Trump, 73 percent of African Americans said they expect race relations to get worse, nine percent responded they see things getting better, and 12 percent added they see things remaining the same.

With much of their perception being based on a number of recent actions taken by the new president, including a series of executive orders on immigration and continued talk of building a wall along the Mexican border, 64 percent of Latinos said things will get worse, 19 percent said they would improve and 13 percent think nothing will change.

Trump has also alienated many Hispanics and Mexican leaders by further insisting he will force the Mexican government to foot the bill for the construction of the wall, which most estimates have potentially climbing into the billions.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of white voters insisted race relations will worsen under Trump, compared with 29 percent that think things will improve and 20 percent who don’t expect things to change.

During his upset win over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the general election last November, Trump won 8 percent of the African-American vote and 29 percent of the Latino vote.

His campaign was marked by an episode where he referred to former President Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, as “a great divider” and unapologetically argued that “race relations now are as bad as they’ve ever been,” even worse than during the eras of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.

Trump further drew the ire of many African-American voters by characterizing their neighborhoods as “ghettos” and blatantly hinting that cities with large African-American populations, like Philadelphia and Cleveland, were places where large-scale voter fraud would likely occur.

In making his overture to African-American voters during one campaign outing, Trump infuriated many of them with the question “What the hell do you have to lose?”

[Featured Image by Michael Reynolds/Getty Images]