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Poll: 74 Percent Say Race Relations in America Are Bad

Nearly three-quarters of U.S. voters say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Image: A Picture and its Story: Taking a stand in Baton Rouge
Protestor Ieshia Evans is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. July 9, 2016.JONATHAN BACHMAN / Reuters

Nearly three-quarters of American voters say that race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll – the highest percentage ever saying in the poll’s history.

A combined 74 percent of voters say race relations are bad, including 32 percent who say they are “very bad.” That’s higher than the 61 percent of who said race relations were bad in Oct. 1995 after the verdict finding O.J. Simpson innocent.

This negative view on race relations is unchanged regardless of ethnicity: 70 percent of Latinos, 75 percent of whites and 76 percent of African Americans believe race relations are bad in this country.

Despite this pessimism –which comes after the deaths of African Americans by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, as well as the assassination of five Dallas police officers – 64 percent of Americans believe relations between whites and African Americans will eventually be worked out, including 68 percent of whites, 56 percent of Latinos but just 47 percent of African Americans who say that.

The poll was released on a day when three more police officers were killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Asked which candidate would deal better on racial problems between police and African Americans, 41 percent of voters say Hillary Clinton, 19 percent say Donald Trump and 33 percent say neither.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted July 9-13 of 1,000 registered voters, including 450 cell phone-only respondents and another 44 who were reached on a cell phone but also have a landline. The overall margin of error is plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.