After Protests, Just 25 Percent Think Race Relations Are Healing: Poll

Just a quarter of Americans believe race relations are improving after weeks of protests over police brutality, new polling data shows.

The latest survey by Rasmussen found that 25 percent of U.S. adults believed race relations were on the up, compared to a little more than four-in-ten (43 percent) who felt race relations were getting worse.

When the same survey was conducted at the start of the year, Rasmussen found 30 percent of Americans believed race relations were improving, while 41 percent felt they were declining.

In the new poll, it was also found that less than a quarter (23 percent) of U.S. adults rated race relations in the country as excellent or good—down from 34 percent in January.

Anti-racist protest in Victorville, California
A woman holds up a placard during a protest over the death of Malcolm Harsch, a black man who was found hanging from a tree, June 16, 2020, in Victorville, California. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

By comparison, 39 percent of respondents said they felt race relations were poor, an increase of 8 percentage points over the last five months.

Black Americans were the group most pessimistic about the direction of race relations and the potential for protests to lead to positive change, according to Rasmussen.

Although optimism about the future of race relations was low, most Americans still reject the idea that most of their compatriots are racist.

A majority of 60 percent disagreed with the idea that most Americans were racist, compared to a little more than one-in-five (22 percent) who said they believed most Americans were racist. A further 18 percent told pollsters they were unsure where they came down on the issue.

When results were broken down along partisan lines, Rasmussen pollsters found that Democrats were more likely to believe most Americans were racist, with 26 percent holding the belief.

Sixteen percent of Republicans and 24 percent of U.S. adults without a party affiliation agreed on that point.

Rasmussen pollsters surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults between June 11 and June 14 for their latest poll. Its margin of error stands at 3 percentage points.

The new survey was released a little more than a week after a CBS News poll found that 58 percent of Americans were unhappy with President Donald Trump's handling of race relations.

The survey published at the start of the month also found that a 61 percent majority felt race relations were in a bad place following the president's threats to deploy military personnel at demonstrations against police brutality.

Slim numbers of respondents were optimistic about the immediate future of U.S. race relations. Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults told CBS News pollsters that they felt race relations were in a good place, while less than one-in-five (17 percent) said race relations were improving.