WASHINGTON - More Americans than ever before are ready for a black president in the country, according to a poll released on Monday.
US Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) takes part in a march organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in Columbia , South Carolina. [Agencies]
The poll by CNN and Opinion Research Corp. from January 14 to 17 shows that 72 percent of white Americans and 61 percent of black Americans said the nation is ready for a black president, compared to 65 percent of whites and 54 percent of blacks surveyed in 2006.
The poll that interviewed 743 whites and 513 blacks was released as Americans honor Martin Luther King's Day, the third Monday in January, and Democratic presidential candidates' campaign heat up in South Carolina before the state holds its Democratic primary on January 26, where a large number of black voters are seen to play decisive role.
The black civil rights leader and Nobel winner, who is famous for his "I have a dream" speech, advocated peaceful resistance and equality for people of all races. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at 39 while standing on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
Four decades later, about 52 percent of black Americans and 43 percent white Americans said they believe that race relations will always be problem in the United States, according to the poll.
When asked the same question in 1993, 55 percent of blacks and 53 percent of whites held such a view.
The poll also found that the top six concerns for both the whites and blacks when they choose a presidential candidate are listed orderly as economy, Iraq, terrorism, health care, gas prices and Iran.