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ABC-Post Poll Says Reagan Still Not Popular Among Blacks

January 18, 1986

NEW YORK (AP) _ A higher percentage of black Americans approve of President Reagan’s performance than in 1983, but more than half called the president a racist, according to a poll released Friday.

Blacks also are optimistic about the future, according to the ABC News- Washington Post poll taken Jan. 7-14.

When asked, ″Do you think of Ronald Reagan as a racist?″ 56 percent of the blacks questioned said yes, 31 percent said no, and 13 percent said they did not know or had no opinion.

Asked ″Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ronald Reagan is handling his job as president?″ 23 percent said they approve, while 63 percent disapproved. Fourteen percent had no opinion.

This compares with an Aug. 1, 1983, ABC News-Washington Post poll where 9 percent of the black respondents said they approved of Reagan’s performance and 86 disappproved.

White House assistant press secretary Denny Brisley declined to comment specifically on the poll. However, she said, ″The president has never been more popular among all Americans.″

When the respondents were asked: ″Thinking of the future, would you say life for blacks in this country will be better, about the same, or worse than it is now?″ 57 percent said better, 23 percent said about the same, 15 percent said worse, and 5 percent said they did not know or have an opinion.

ABC said 1,022 blacks were interviewed nationwide by telephone, and the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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