Polls illustrate strong racial divide in Obama’s America

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A series of surveys released in the past three days illustrate a striking racial divide in perceptions of both the Zimmerman verdict and how Americans view racial progress in the country.

An NBC News-Wall Street journal poll released Tuesday showed that just 19 percent of African-Americans believe “America is a nation where people are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” compared to 79 percent who did not agree with that statement.

On the other hand, 59 percent of whites agreed with that statement, compared to 40 percent who did not.

The poll also suggests African-Americans in particular feel even less optimistic about race relations than when Obama was elected.

In January 2009, 41 percent of blacks expressed agreement with the statement that believed are judged by “the content of their character.”

This finding comes after the Pew Research Center and a joint survey from the Washington Post-ABC News showed huge chasms in racial reactions to Zimmerman’s verdict. According to the Post-ABC News poll, 86 percent of blacks strongly disagreed with the jury’s decision to acquit Zimmerman, compared to 22 percent of whites and and 42 of Hispanics.

The NBC survey showed a drop in Obama’s approval rating among blacks from 88 percent in June to 78 percent now, but the Pew survey showed Obama still at his traditional support among African-Americans, with 93 percent approval.