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Poll: Hatred in US on Rise Since President Trump's Election

  • VOA Staff

FILE - Headstones, pushed over by vandals, lay on the ground in the Mount Carmel Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Feb. 27, 2017.

A new poll has found that 63 percent of American voters believe the level of hatred and bias against minority groups in the U.S. has increased since Donald Trump was elected president in November.

The poll, released Thursday by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, found another 32 percent saw no change, 2 percent believed it has declined, and 3 percent offered no opinion.

More than three-quarters of those surveyed, 77 percent, felt prejudice against minority groups was "very" or "somewhat" serious. Of those respondents, 48 percent said the bias was "very serious," compared with 41 percent who felt that way in an earlier poll released on June 29, 2016.

In the last month, perceived levels of anti-Semitism increased significantly. Seventy percent of American voters felt bias against Jewish people was "very" or "somewhat" serious, a sharp increase from 49 percent in a February 8 poll.

Respondents are almost equally divided on Trump's response to bomb threats against Jewish community centers and recent acts of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries. Thirty-seven percent approved while 38 percent did not.

"Americans are concerned that the dark forces of prejudice and anti-Semitism are rearing their ugly heads," said Quinnipiac University Poll official Tim Malloy. "Voters are less than confident with the new administration's response."

In his first address to Congress on February 28, Trump condemned the fatal shooting of an Indian computer engineer six days earlier in Kansas, calling it "an act of racially motivated hatred."

Trump further addressed the killing, as well as the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and other recent anti-Semitic attacks.

"We may be a nation divided on policies," he said, but "we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms."

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