White Racial Resentment Before, During Obama Years
What impact did the first African-American U.S. president, Barack Obama, have on racial attitudes in the U.S.? Did race relations improve, stay the same or get worse during his administration — the last perhaps as a result of a “backlash” effect among racially resentful whites?
Our recent analysis of several indicators of racial resentment before and during the Obama administration provides evidence that racial resentment decreased among the majority of white Americans during Obama’s presidency. Republicans were the only political group who did not decrease in racial resentment — but they did not increase significantly either.
The challenge in addressing the issue of Obama’s effect on racial attitudes is finding questions that have been asked consistently enough to provide a suitable measure before and during his years as president. Fortunately, Gallup has data from its ongoing and frequently updated Minority Rights and Relations poll that can help meet that need.