A key reason for the results: whites. Blacks say the polar opposite.
Hispanics, in between, lean more toward non-Hispanic whites in these polls. Same with independents (who are in the majority white as well).
But polling also shows Republicans have broader troubles.
A July national poll from Quinnipiac University found congressional Republicans had an approval rating of -52 percentage points. Democrats: -33. And 51 percent said Republicans were to blame for Washington gridlock, compared to 35 percent who said Obama didn’t have the skills to accomplish enough.
But it’s not like Obama is well-liked, either, with 49 percent having an unfavorable opinion of him and 47 percent expressing a favorable view — a net shift of 7 points against the president since winning the election. The economy remains horrible for many, and Obamacare remains unpopular.
There is solid bipartisan and multi-racial agreement in one area: Voters think race relations have gotten worse under the first black president.
A Florida poll last week from Republican-run Viewpoint Florida showed 10 percent of respondents believe race relations have gotten better under Obama, 53 percent worse, and 35 percent that they have stayed the same.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC national poll last week jibed with Viewpoint Florida by showing race relations haven’t been perceived so poorly since the fall of 1995, when O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering his white ex-wife and her friend.
At the time, many whites were aghast. Many blacks celebrated. Now the roles have been somewhat reversed.
The Journal/NBC poll also found voters are more likely to blame Republicans if immigration reform fails. And 59 percent say the border-security-first GOP talking point is “an excuse to block reform.”
Hispanics — the fastest-growing segment of the overall electorate — and registered Florida independents have taken note of the far-right anger directed at Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for breaking his word on illegal immigrant “amnesty” to get a bipartisan reform passed in the U.S. Senate.
Rubio, a 2016 presidential hopeful, has now slipped in early caucus polls for first-in-the-nation Iowa, home of the DREAMers-are-drug-mules congressman.
The new early Iowa GOP frontrunner: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. He just parted ways with a former aide who had once posed as an Old South-sympathizing shock jock called the “Southern Avenger,” a persona replete with a Dixie-flagged wrestling mask.
Intentional or not, to many blacks the name echoes the Ku Klux Klan, vigilantism, Jim Crow laws, and police brutality.
Against this historical backdrop and living history, Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012 in a Sanford apartment complex.
Zimmerman wasn’t a cop. He was just a wannabe. But the result was the same. He was legally allowed to do it (in his case in self defense).
After the acquittal, a FOX News national poll last week showed Republicans are two-and-a-half times more likely to have a favorable opinion (45 percent) of Zimmerman than Obama (18 percent). And they’re almost three times more likely to have an unfavorable opinion of Obama (79 percent) than Zimmerman (27 percent).
Independents are almost in line with Republicans, although they still narrowly favor Obama more than Zimmerman.
The Republican numbers stand out the most.
But whether it means Republicans reach out more to their own base or more to minorities, and what effect it has on 2014 and beyond, isn’t as clear as black and white right now.