The historic disparity in voter turnout evaporated in 2012 with the re-election of President Obama, yet euphoria over his election has faded. Both blacks and whites were much less likely this year to say black people were better off than five years earlier than they did in a 2009 Pew survey after Mr. Obama’s first election. The latest nationwide survey of 2,200 adults was conducted this month after the Supreme Court in June effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, freeing nine states to change their election laws without advance federal approval.
“Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority.
Not so much, though, that nearly half of all Americans — 49 percent in all, or 44 percent of whites, 48 percent of Hispanics and 79 percent of blacks — said a lot more progress needed to be made to achieve Dr. King’s vision of a colorblind society. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe there has been racial progress. Fully 80 percent of all Americans say at least some more needs to be done.