NBC/WSJ poll: Attitudes on race
Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 12:00 PM by Mark Murray
Filed Under: Barack Obama, Polls
From NBC's Mark Murray
A year into the presidency of the nation's first African-American
president, a majority of Americans (63%) say that race relations in
this country have stayed the same, according to a new NBC/MSNBC/WSJ
poll. Only 20% believe they've gotten better, and 15% believe they've
That's a change from our Jan. 2009 NBC/WSJ poll, when a plurality
(45%) said Barack Obama's election improved race relations, when 39%
said it didn't change things, and when 13% said it made race relations
"Everything is back to where it was -- if you're white or African
American or Hispanic," said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who
conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. "The
euphoria has disappeared.
The full NBC/WSJ poll will be released tomorrow night beginning at
6:30 pm ET. But these numbers on race are being unveiled now, pegged
to today's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, as well as tonight's MSNBC
special program "Obama's America -- 2010 and beyond," hosted by
MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
In another question, 72% said that race relations are good in the
United States, which is up considerably from 2007 (when 58% said that)
and 1995 (when only 34% said that).
But there's a racial divide here: While 72% of whites now say that
race relations are good, a slightly smaller percentage of African
Americans -- 64% -- say the same thing.
On affirmative action, 49% believe that it is needed to counteract
past discrimination against minorities, versus 43% who think
affirmative action programs have gone too far. Not surprisingly,
African Americans (81%) and Hispanics (69%) support affirmative action
more than whites (41%) do.
The poll was conducted Jan. 10-14, and it has an overall margin of
error of plus-minus 3.1%.
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