For a third consecutive year, a Gallup poll reports a significant increase in concerns about race relations. The research group said 42 percent of American worry a “great deal” that racial tension is running too high. That’s a 7 percent increase from 2016 and a new record in Gallup’s 17-year trend.
Concern about race relations bottomed out in 2010, which was a continuation of a decline that began near the end of George W. Bush’s presidency.
The numbers began to skyrocket by 2014. In that year, 17 percent of respondents expressed serious concerns. In 2015, 28 percent said they were worried about race relations, and last year it reached 35 percent.
Gallup researchers said the surge likely stems from the high-profile police killings of unarmed Black men, nationwide protests about those killings and the fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.
According to Gallup, Democrats express the greatest worry about race relations, which has risen by 33 percent in the three-year span to reach 59 percent.
Concern among Republicans, on the other hand, increased sharply between 2014 and 2015, but has leveled off at 29 percent.