More than half of Americans believe Donald Trump is racist, a poll has found.
More than 50 per cent think his policies have made things worse for Hispanic people and Muslims, and nearly half say they have made things worse for African Americans, a new poll has found.
Three quarters of black Americans surveyed said they thought Mr Trump’s policies had been detrimental to African Americans, the findings showed.
Eighty-five percent of Democrats consider Trump racist, but just 21 percent of Republicans agree, the survey, by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, revealed.
The results expose the stark divide on racial issues gripping the country under the Trump administration. The US President has made divisive comments after a white nationalist rally, reportedly called African nations “s***holes,” and promised to build a wall along the Mexican border to prevent immigrants from entering the country illegally.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the poll’s findings. When asked earlier this year what he thinks about people who think he is racist, Mr Trump replied, “No, no. I am not a racist.” He also told reporters: “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you.”
The poll, designed to highlight the views of African-Americans at the end of Black History Month, shows deep pessimism among black Americans about the state of politics and the country.
It finds that more than nine in 10 of black Americans disapprove of how Mr Trump is handling his job as president. Nine in 10 think the country is headed in the wrong direction, and three-quarters think that direction has worsened in the last year.
By comparison, 45 per cent of Caucasian Americans approve of the job Mr Trump is doing, despite only 35 per cent believing the direction of the country is improving.
About half of all Americans, including two-thirds of African Americans, think that race relations in the US have worsened over the past year, the poll shows.
In the “National African American History Month” proclamation he issued earlier this month, Mr Trump praised the “resolve, resilience, and courage” that black Americans have shown in the face of “egregious discrimination and bigotry.”
“They have, nevertheless, always been determined to contribute their earnest efforts to America’s greatness,” he added.
Just over half of all Americans surveyed in the poll — 51 per cent, including 79 per cent of black people and 44 per cent of white people— think African Americans continue to face disadvantages to getting ahead in the US.
That’s compared with 22 per cent who think black people actually have advantages and 26 per cent who think race makes no difference in getting ahead. About six in 10 think white people and men have advantages over other groups.
The AP-NORC poll surveyed 1,337 adults between 15 and 19 February using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the US population.
Additional reporting by AP