A new Gallup poll finds that Americans’ satisfaction with race relations have plunged 21-points since 2008.
In Jan. of 2008, 51 percent of Americans told Gallup they were satisfied with the state of race relations in America. When asked the same question in Gallup’s Jan. 2015 poll, just 30 percent responded favorably.
Gallup says because it failed to ask the same set of questions in early 2009–the time when Barack Obama was sworn in as president–it’s hard to make a perfect comparison of where the numbers were at the outset of his presidency. Still, says Gallup, of all the 27 areas it measured levels for, satisfaction was down “most sharply” for race relations.
Gallup’s findings come at a time when the president’s party has struggled to regain support from working class white voters, many of whom feel that the Democratic party’s redistribution programs take resources from them and give them away to minorities at their expense. Progressive New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall said last month that the erosion of Democratic support among white middle-class Americans has hit “dangerous levels” for Obama’s party. Indeed, in November, Gallup reported that Obama’s approval with working-class white voters dropped to a record-low 27 percent.
Gallup’s most recent findings on race relations are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 5-8, 2015, with 804 adults living in the U.S.