A recent New York Times/CBS News poll shows that Barack Obama's presidency has already had a remarkably positive effect on race relations in America. When asked, "Are race relations in the U.S. generally good or generally bad?" 66 percent of Americans answered that they were good, with just 22 percent saying they were bad. Asked the same question last July, 53 percent said race relations were good, 37 percent bad. The number of black respondents who said race relations were good doubled since the earlier NYT/CBS poll.
The nationwide telephone survey was conducted in late April with 973 adults. For purposes of analysis, blacks were oversampled in this poll, for a total of 212, and then weighted back to their proper proportion in the poll, based on the census. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for all people, and plus or minus seven points for blacks.
For an analysis of the poll, and how it was done, see Obama is Nudging Views on Race, a Survey Finds, New York Times, April 27, 2009.