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Blacks in survey say race relations no better with Obama

  • Story Highlights
  • African-Americans strongly approve of Obama and his performance, poll finds
  • During election, fewer black people thought discrimination was a serious problem
  • Smaller percentage of whites than blacks say Obama has met their expectations
  • About half of both whites and blacks think race relations will improve
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(CNN) -- African-Americans really like President Obama, but more and more feel that race relations have not gotten better since he took office, a new national poll found.

Obama's crowd in Chicago on Election Night, when fewer blacks thought race relations were a serious problem.

Obama's crowd in Chicago on Election Night, when fewer blacks thought race relations were a serious problem.

Ninety-six percent of African-Americans approve of how Obama is handling his presidency, according to a CNN/Essence Magazine/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Thursday.

During the 2008 election, 38 percent of blacks surveyed thought racial discrimination was a serious problem. In the new survey, 55 percent of blacks surveyed believed it was a serious problem, which is about the same level as it was in 2000.

The poll was conducted May 16-18, in telephone interviews with 505 African-Americans and 501 whites.

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Blacks and whites had differing opinions of Obama's performance. More than 60 percent of blacks felt that Obama met their expectations, while 46 percent of whites did. See the CNN/ESSENCE poll results »

Thirty percent of blacks said Obama exceeded their expectations, compared with 16 percent of whites. Six percent of blacks said Obama did not meet expectations, compared with 35 percent of whites.

Both blacks and whites gave similar answers to a survey question about whether race relations will always be a problem in the United States.


Forty-five percent of blacks answered yes, while 42 percent of whites said yes. Fifty percent of blacks said no, while 56 percent of whites said no. Sound off: Have race relations improved?

The poll had a sampling error on these questions of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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