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Race Relations And Politics, 40 years after the assassination  

2008-04-05 10:31:29|  分类: 美国研究 USA Stu |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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CBS/New York Times Poll

......

Race Relations And Politics

Forty years after the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Americans have a more positive view of race relations than they did nearly two decades ago. A majority (55 percent) of Americans think race relations in the U.S. are generally good now, while 36 percent think they are bad.

Views of race relations in this poll reached a low point in 1992, just after riots erupted in Los Angeles after the acquittal of police officers accused of beating Rodney King. But there continues to be a racial divide, with African-Americans holding more negative views about the state of race relations than whites do. Just 42 percent of blacks think race relations are generally good now, while 46 percent think they are bad.

Black perceptions of race relations have improved since 2000, while the perceptions of whites are unchanged since then. The presence of a viable African-American candidate may have helped improve black perceptions, but voters are not in agreement as to whether Obama's campaign has brought blacks and whites together. Thirty percent think his campaign has done so, but 22 percent think it has pushed blacks and whites further apart.

In comparison, few voters think Clinton's campaign has brought blacks and whites together, and 20 percent think it has pushed the two races further apart. Those who think her campaign has pushed the races apart tend to be Obama supporters.

Looking ahead to the fall, voters don’t expect either Clinton or McCain to have much impact on race relations if either were elected president. However, voters do think Barack Obama would have an impact, with 34 percent predicting he would make race relations better. But one in five thinks his impact would be negative.

Most voters have heard or read about the controversy surrounding statements made by Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright, and most have also heard or read about Obama's speech on race relations.

While the impact of the Wright issue on views of Obama is negative, the impact of Obama’s speech on race is positive and has perhaps offset some of the negative impact of the Wright issue. Thirty-six percent say that Wright's statements have caused them to have a less favorable view of Obama while 62 percent say they have made no difference.

It is primarily white voters whose views of Obama have become more negative as a result of Wright’s statements, though 58 percent of whites say the statements did not affect their views. Most blacks say they had no effect on their opinion of the candidate.

By two to one, voters say Obama's speech on race in America has made their view of him more favorable rather than less favorable. Both black and white voters responded more favorably than unfavorably to Obama’s speech on race, although most said the speech had no impact on their views of Obama.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/03/opinion/polls/main3992628_page2.shtml

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