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3 charts that explain Obama’s approval jump — and its limits

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After a dramatic week featuring Supreme Court victories for Obamacare and same-sex marriage, but also a continuing tragedy in South Carolina following the murders of eight parishioners at a historically black church, President Barack Obama's approval ratings have jumped to their highest point in recent years.

1) For the first time since 2013, a majority of Americans support Obama


Javier Zarracina | Vox

According to a recent CNN/ORC poll, about 50 percent of respondents expressed approval of the president. These numbers constitute Obama's highest marks in this poll since May 2013.

2) However, Obama's popularity isn't shared equally by all races


Javier Zarracina | Vox

Obama's biggest gain was among white respondents — there, his approval rating increased by five percentile points since the last CNN/ORC poll was conducted in February. Meanwhile, Obama gained two percentile points among African-American respondents, giving him a whopping 91 percent approval rating in this demographic. Despite the president's overall increase in popularity among white Americans, only about 39 percent of white respondents approved of Obama's handling of the presidency.

3) America is divided on the seriousness of racism


Javier Zarracina | Vox

About 80 percent of African Americans see racial discrimination as "very serious problem", while only 28 percent of white Americans felt the same. This number is actually at a relative high — previous polls by CNN found that between January 2008 and July 2010, on average only about 12 percent of white Americans thought that discrimination against African Americans was a serious problem. Instead, the vast majority of respondents believed discrimination was either "somewhat serious" or "not too serious."

Overall, a majority — 55 percent — approved of Obama's handing of "race relations," and 52 percent approved of the president's stance on the economy. One area where Obama's approval ratings were lower was on the issue of gun control, where 53 percent of those polled expressed disapproval.

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