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Poll: Worries about race relations hit record high

The number of Americans worrying a “great deal” about the nation’s race relations has hit a record high, according to a new poll.

Forty-two percent expressed that level of anxiety in the Gallup survey released Wednesday, the peak since the polling firm started measuring the topic 17 years ago.

The latest poll is a 7-point increase from last year, when 35 percent said they worry a “great deal” about U.S. race relations. Gallup said its latest poll is the third consecutive one showing a significant rise in worries about race relations, with it at 28 percent in 2015.

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The polling firm added the percentage of those worried a great deal about U.S. race relations sank to its lowest point in 2010, when 13 percent voiced that concern under former President Obama.

Gallup said that multiple shootings involving police and unarmed African-Americans last year may be behind the latest figures showing a continued rise in worry over U.S. race relations.

The polling firm pointed to last year’s shootings in Baton Rouge, La., Dallas and Minnesota as examples, incidents that all took place after Gallup last asked about race relations in March 2016.

Racial tensions flared last year following several high-profile cases of police officers shooting unarmed African-Americans as well as cases involving black suspects firing on law enforcement.

Gallup conducted its latest survey of 1,018 U.S. adults via landline and cellphones March 1–5. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Tags African-Americans Barack Obama Gallup Politics polls race relations

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