Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Voters overwhelmingly reject the idea that opponents of President Obama’s policies are motivated primarily by racism, but there’s a strong difference of opinion between blacks and whites.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Likely U.S. Voters think those who oppose the president’s policies do so primarily because they believe the policies are bad. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 18% feel instead that the opponents are against the policies because they are racist. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
But while 73% of white voters and 62% of those of other races think the opposition is because the policies are bad, just 26% of blacks agree. A plurality (43%) of black voters believes the opposition is driven by racism.
These findings are similar to those in September 2009 when some Democrats, including former President Jimmy Carter, said racism was a factor in opposition to the president’s national health care plan. Two-out-of-three voters (67%) disagreed with that charge, but blacks were more skeptical than whites and voters of other races.
Only 17% of all voters believe most Americans are racist. Sixty-five percent (65%) disagree and do not feel most in this country are racially biased. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure.
This suggests that Americans think the country has grown less racially prejudiced during the Obama years. In January 2008 when Rasmussen Reports first asked this question, 24% of Adults said most Americans are racist, but 53% disagreed and 24% were not sure.
Fifty-two percent (52%) of black voters now agree that most Americans are not racist, a view shared by 67% of whites and 61% of voters of other races.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 30-October 1, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
ORLimited Time Discount Offer: $12.00/6 months
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.