Rating Obama: It's Down to Black and White

A poll of more than 1,000 readers of The Root shows that the racial divide persists in how people assess President Obama exactly two years after he took office.

Getty Images

Twenty-four months after President Obama was sworn in as American's first African-American president, 1,006 people of all races responding to an online survey by The Root are at times sharply divided on his achievements, and particularly on the racial climate in the country:

* While just 15 percent of whites believe that hate crimes, police brutality and injustice against African Americans have increased since Obama took office, 40 percent of blacks say such crimes have increased.

* Seventy-five percent of blacks and 62 percent of whites said that Obama was addressing their needs. Twenty-nine percent of whites said that he was not, compared with just 15 percent of blacks.

Black Response on Whether Needs Are Being Met by Obama

White Response on Whether Needs Are Being Met by Obama

* The media apparently had a stronger impact on how whites see President Obama, compared with blacks. Sixty-five percent of whites said that their perception of him is influenced by the media, compared with 40 percent of blacks. Fifty-six percent of blacks claimed that the media had not influenced their perceptions "at all," versus 36 percent of whites who claimed the same immunity.

The president's approval numbers have surged in the time since his administration pushed through a blitz of legislation last December and he made that powerful speech in Tucson. That lift was reflected in our poll.

Black Response on the Obama Administration's Effectiveness