- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

For the first time in his presidency, a majority of Americans believe race relations have gotten worse under President Obama.

Sixty percent of respondents in a Rasmussen poll released Tuesday said race relations have deteriorated under Mr. Obama, the highest mark since he was elected eight years ago. That number is up 18 points since 2014, when 42 percent said the relationship between the races had worsened.

Just 9 percent said race relations have gotten better under the first black president, and 28 percent said they have stayed about the same.

White respondents were more likely than minorities to say that race relations have gotten worse. Sixty-six percent of whites responded that race relations have worsened under Mr. Obama, compared to 51 percent of minorities, including 38 percent of black respondents. A plurality of black respondents, 49 percent, said race relations are about the same.

Republicans and Democrats are also sharply divided over the state of race relations. Eighty-four percent of Republicans and 67 percent of unaffiliated voters said things have worsened under Mr. Obama, compared to 32 percent of Democrats.

The parties also differ in how to ameliorate racial discord. Republicans are more likely to put emphasis on parental and personal responsibility, while Democrats said the government has not done enough to improve the lives of black Americans.

Young respondents were more likely to say the government is primarily responsible for improving the condition of black Americans, while older respondents put the emphasis on parental and personal responsibility.

And 71 percent of black respondents said the government has not done enough to help black Americans, compared to 39 percent of whites and 43 percent of other minorities.

The Rasmussen poll surveyed 1,000 likely voters from July 12 - 13 and has a margin of error of 3 percent.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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