Three in five Americans now believe President Donald Trump has made race relations worse than they were when he moved into the White House.
A new Pew Research Center poll concludes that figure represents a 14 percent increase from when Trump was elected president over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in late 2016, a time when 46 percent of voters indicated they thought his election would trigger a turn for the worse in race relations.
In the latest polling, just eight percent of the 1,503 adult voters surveyed said they feel Trump has made race relations better, while 30 percent said he has made no difference.
Trump has faced lingering allegations of stoking racial tensions by stirring the emotions of his white supporters along those lines. Critics have pointed to examples of that in the way Trump has routinely castigated athletes who “take a knee” to protest police brutality and the way he regularly criticizes immigrants.
Trump also turned heads when he weighed in on a neo-Nazi march held over the summer that turned deadly by reasoning there were good people “on both sides.”
Pew researchers stressed “most of the increase in negative opinions has come among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Presently, 25 percent of respondents say Trump has made race relations worse, while 17 percent say he has made them better and 53 percent say he has not made a difference.”
Generally speaking, 56 percent of the public overall now shares a negative view on race relations, compared to 38 percent who feel things as a whole are good.
Meanwhile, the number of blacks who feel race relations have deteriorated under Trump has spiked to 51 percent from 37 percent over roughly the last 18 months.
With whites, 41 percent admitted they think race relations are getting worse under Trump, while 37 percent indicated they things are about the same and 20 percent said they feel things are getting better.
Researchers also noted the era of Trump is proving to be as partisan as ever, with a staggering 86 percent of those polled agreeing the divide between Democrats and Republicans is as strong and intense as ever.