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TribBlog: Some Still Believe

Despite a skid in his approval ratings, some are still riding the Obama Love Train.

It turns out President Obama is still capable of keeping hope alive — for some.

Blacks in the U.S. are more optimistic about their chances of success and progress today than they were just two years ago, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. The election of the country’s first black president is the catalyst for the rosier outlook.

“Barack Obama's election as the nation's first black president appears to be the spur for this sharp rise in optimism among African Americans,” cites the report.

About 40 percent of those polled in 2009 said blacks in the U.S. were in a better position to prosper than they were five years ago. In 2007 only 20 percent of respondents were as confident.

Black respondents also saw progress in the harmony between themselves and whites — with 76 percent saying the two groups get along “pretty well” or “fairly well” in 2009, up from 67 percent in 2007. The standard-of-living gap between blacks and whites has also narrowed, according to the survey. Fifty-six percent of those polled agree the gap was smaller in 2009 than it was 10 years before, up from 41 percent in 2007.

It might still be too early for an outright sing along of Ebony and Ivory, however, as the percentage of blacks that believe anti-black discrimination still exists far surpasses the number of whites that do. Forty-three percent of blacks think they are still largely discriminated against, while only 13 percent of whites believe the same. Only 13 percent of blacks believe the country has made the “necessary changes” to give blacks equal rights with whites, while 53 percent of whites think the U.S. has taken the necessary measures.

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Politics Barack Obama