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Poll: Number of Americans worried about race relations reaches record high

Black Lives Matter insiders and representatives discuss the issues with the movement. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)

The number of Americans who worry about race relations has risen sharply over the last three years, according to a new Gallup poll.

Gallup found that 42 percent of Americans say they worry a "great deal" about race relations in the United States, the highest rate the polling firm has found in the 17 years it has been asking the question.

When Gallup started tracking the question in 2001, 28 percent of Americans said they were worried about race relations. That number declined during George W. Bush presidency, and hit an all-time low of 13 percent in the early days of Barack Obama's presidency.

The rate then began to surge. In 2014, 17 percent of Americans said they worried a "great deal" about race relations, climbing to 28 percent in 2015 and 35 percent in 2016.

Gallup pointed to “racial tensions and public discourse” about the Black Lives Matter movement as well as “police shootings of unarmed black men and of black men shooting police in retaliation” as possible causes for the findings.

They also suggested that the political success of President Donald Trump “whose comments on racial matters, including his recent feud with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), have sparked outrage among some black leaders” could also be an explanation.

Democrats were more likely than independents and Republicans to say they worry about race relations, although concern among all three groups is on the rise.

Gallup conducted the survey of 1,018 adults in the U.S. March 1-5.

(H/T: The Hill)

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