The Obama presidency overlaps the significant shift in U.S. opinion to the left on a host of topics. The Gallup Poll recorded after the President’s speech and the violence in South Carolina that a majority of Democrats (58%) now see the Confederate flag as a racist symbol. Among Democrats, there was a 16 point drop in people who saw the flag as a symbol of Southern pride and an 18 point increase since 2000 in those who see it as a symbol of racism. Republicans have not significantly changed their views.
Also, it was the rapid shift among Democrats that fueled the recent surge in support for gay rights, although, there was some movement among all partisans.