WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Americans say they believe there is less racial, immigration and class conflict following a presidential election that put many of those social issues in the forefront.

According to a new study from the Pew Research Center, 58 percent of adults say there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts in our society between the rich and the poor, which is down from the 66 percent who said the same in a December 2011 survey.

55 percent of adults say there are very strong or strong conflicts between immigrants and the native born, down from the 62% in late 2011.

However, a larger share of the public sees major partisan conflict (81 percent) than see similarly large disputes between rich and poor (58 percent), immigrants and native born (55 percent), blacks and whites (39 percent) or the old and the young (29 percent).

The latest results remain 11 percentage points above the 47 percent who saw serious disagreements along economic class lines in 2009, the first time that the Pew Research Center asked the question.

The survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 2,511 adults from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5, 2012, as President Obama and Republicans in Congress continued to clash over whether to raise taxes on the wealthy, finds that, overall, three-in-four Americans see very strong or strong conflicts in two or more of the five areas measured in the survey.

The survey also found that three-in-ten say there are strong disagreements in at least four out of the five domains tested, including about half of all blacks (48 percent) but 26 percent of whites.

Women, Democrats and political liberals are more likely than men, Republicans or conservatives to see major disagreements in four or more social arenas.


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