Forty percent of white Americans think black people would be just as well off as white people if they worked harder, according to a new poll from YouGov on Wednesday.
YouGov asked a number of questions on what it called “racial resentment,” one of which centered on whether the respondent agreed with the statement: “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.”
Overall, 35 percent of respondents agreed (16 percent “strongly,” 19 percent “somewhat”) with that statement. Twenty-eight percent neither agreed nor disagreed.
Forty percent of white respondents agreed (19 percent strongly, 21 percent somewhat) that black people just needed to try harder to be equal, while just 18 percent (5 percent strongly, 13 percent somewhat) of black respondents said the same, according to the YouGov poll.
There was a stark divide along party lines for this question. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans agreed with the statement to some degree, compared to just 22 percent of Democrats. Sixty-six percent of respondents who voted for President Donald Trump agreed—either strongly or somewhat—that “if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites,” compared to 14 percent of Hillary Clinton voters.
Statistics on inequality have shown that black people in America have lower college graduation rates, higher levels of poverty, higher incarceration rates and lower life expectancies than white people—issues that many blame on discrimination and systemic inequality, which can take many forms. For instance, a study last year found that black people received 36 percent fewer callbacks for jobs than white people, a statistic which hasn’t improved since 1990.
The YouGov survey interviewed 1,500 people from April 1 through April 3. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
YouGov has polled other issues connected to race recently. Last month, the firm found that nearly 20 percent of Americans felt interracial marriage was “morally wrong” some 50 years after the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia barred state-level laws that prevented interracial marriage.