Fifty-four percent of people questioned said they think the president acted stupidly when he commented on the Gates arrest, with 32 percent disagreeing. But again, the poll indicates a racial divide, with 63 percent of whites feeling Obama acted stupidly and 26 percent of black respondents agreeing.
Sixty-one percent approve of how the president has handled race relations, with 92 percent of African-Americans and 56 percent of whites approving.
Did Obama’s initial comments damage his political standing?
“One-third of whites say that Obama’s comments about this matter made them feel less favorable toward him, compared to only 4 percent of whites who feel more favorably toward Obama due to his comments,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “But the majority of whites say that Obama’s comments did not affect their views of him, and most whites approve of how Obama is handling race relations.”