Poll: Race Relations Worse Since Obama Elected

By Jon E. Dougherty at 7 Oct 2010

A new survey has found that voters are much less optimistic about black-white relations since President Obama was elected.

Rasmussen Reports said "perceptions about the state of black-white relations in America have fallen dramatically since the summer of 2009," but added "voters are still more optimistic about that relationship than they are about relations between whites and Hispanics and between blacks and Hispanics."

The polling service found in its recent survey that just 36 percent of voters now say relations between blacks and whites are getting better, down from 62 percent in July 2009, "at the height of the controversy involving a black Harvard professor and a white policeman."

The number had only fallen to 55 percent in April of this year, Rasmussen said.

Meanwhile, those who see relations getting worse are on the rise. Twenty-seven percent of voters now say black-white relations are getting worse, up 10 points from July 2009.

About 33 percent said that relations are remaining the same.

Blacks are more pessimistic than whites, the survey found. Thirty-nine percent of whites think black-white race relations are getting better, but just 13 percent of blacks agree.

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on October 4-5, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

While confidence in the nation's race relations soared among blacks after President Obama was elected, "several prominent Democrats, perhaps most notably former President Jimmy Carter, suggested that opposition to the president’s health care plan was motivated in part by racism," Rasmussen said.

Only 12 percent of all voters agreed in September of last year, but among blacks, 27 percent felt that way and 48 percent were undecided, said the polling agency.

(c) 2010 Newsroom America.

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