Posted Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, at 3:13 PM
The new Washington Post/ABC News poll asks this question for the third time:
Do you think Obama's presidency has done more to (help) or more to (hurt) race relations in this country, or has it not made much of a difference?
When this was first asked in January 2009, 58 percent of Americans said the Obama presidency would help race relations, and 7 percent said it would hurt. One year later, the "help" number fell to 41 percent. Today 35 percent of Americans say Obama's presidency is helping race relations; 14 percent say it's hurting. In that time, the percentage of blacks and whites who say it'll help has fallen 24 points, identical for both races. (Among blacks it fell from 75 percent; among whites, 55 percent.)
Here's a chaser that I'm not sure how to interpret -- since Obama was sworn in, the percentage of Americans saying blacks have achieved equality has risen from 35 to 42 percent. It has remained static among blacks, and spiked nine points among whites.