March 17, 2008 from RasmussenReports.com: "Pastor Jeremiah Wright, who has become part of the national political dialogue in recent days, is viewed favorably by 8% of voters nationwide. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 58% have an unfavorable view of the Pastor whose controversial comments have created new challenges for Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign.
Wright was Obama’s Pastor until he retired last month, but Obama has repudiated the preacher’s comments.
Seventy-three percent (73%) of voters say that Wright’s comments are racially divisive. That opinion is held by 77% of White voters and 58% of African-American voters. In addressing the issue, Obama warned against injecting race into the campaign .
Most voters, 56%, said Wright’s comments made them less likely to vote for Obama. That figure includes 44% of Democrats. Just 11% of voters say they are more likely to vote for Obama because of Wright’s comments.
However, among African-Americans, 29% said Wright’s comments made them more likely to support Obama. Just 18% said the opposite while 50% said Wright’s comments would have no impact.
Overall, voters are evenly divided as to whether Obama should resign his membership in the Church—42% say that he should while 40% disagree. White voters, by a 46% to 33% margin, say that Obama should leave the Church. African-American voters, by a 68% to 16% margin, say he should not. Wright retired last month as Pastor of the Church.
The story became big news in the past several days and has had at least a temporary impact on public perceptions of Obama. Last Thursday, 52% of voters nationwide had a favorable opinion of Obama. That figure has fallen to 47% on Monday (see recent daily results). In recent days, Obama has also lost ground to John McCain in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
Sixty-six percent (66%) of voters say they have read, seen, or heard news stories about Wright’s comments.
A recent Fox News report looked at the question of whether or not Wright is a political liability for Obama .
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