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Growing number say country ready for black president

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« on: April 03, 2008, 03:19:10 pm »

Growing number say country ready for black president
Posted: 04:01 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) A new poll suggests that the number of Americans who believe the country is ready for a black president is on the rise.

Seventy-six percent of those polled in a CNN/Essence Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Thursday say that the country is ready. That's up 14 points from December 2006, at the start of the presidential campaign.

"Some of the increase in the number of Americans who say the country is ready for a black president is a simple recognition of Barack Obama's success in the Democratic primaries," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director.

"We're not asking this question in a vacuum. In many cases, respondents must have had Obama in mind when giving their answer, even though he is not mentioned anywhere in the questionnaire."

The senator from Illinois is locked in a battle with Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York for the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama currently leads Clinton in states won, delegates pledged, and in the overall popular vote in the primaries and caucuses held so far this year.

The poll also indicates that more white Americans than African-Americans think the country is ready for a black president. Seventy-eight percent of white Americans surveyed say the country is ready, as opposed to only 69 percent of African-Americans polled. Both numbers are up substantially from December 2006.

"Drawing on their own life experience, blacks are a little more skeptical than whites," said Bill Schneider, CNN's senior political analyst. "But blacks, too, have come around, particularly after the Iowa caucuses demonstrated that Obama could win in an overwhelmingly white electorate."

Holland added, "Among blacks, the belief that the country is ready for an African-American president is highest among blacks who share traits with Obama. Optimism about the country's acceptance of a black president is higher among black men than among black women, higher among college-educated blacks than among those with no college degree, and higher among younger blacks than older blacks."

The poll also suggests that more Americans think the country is ready for a black president than a woman president. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said that the country is ready for a female president. That's 13 points lower than those who say the country is ready for black president.

"Do Americans see more prejudice against a woman than an African-American," Schneider asked. "More likely, they see more negative feelings about this woman than about this African-American. Because it's true. More people have an unfavorable opinion of Hillary Clinton than of Barack Obama."

It's also important to note that the poll asked whether the country is ready for a black or woman president, not whether the respondent would vote for a black or woman president.

"Few people will acknowledge their own prejudices, but they will answer whether they think the country is ready to elect a black or woman president," Schneider said.

The CNN/Essence Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation survey was released on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The poll was conducted by telephone from March 26 to April 2, with 2,184 Americans questioned, including 1,014 blacks and 1,001 whites. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points for the overall sample and plus or minus 3 percentage points for the questions asked just of black or white Americans.
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2008, 12:44:36 am »

Just not a CFR one.   Wink
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