The latest Monmouth University - New Jersey Press Media poll find most Garden state residents think race relations are in pretty good shape where they live. 

Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute says the survey finds "26 percent of Jersey residents believe race relations in the area where they live are excellent, 52 percent rate them as good- only 20 percent say they're just fair or poor."

He says "non Hispanic white residents are somewhat more likely than those of other racial backgrounds to say that race relations are excellent- that's 31 to 17 percent split there…so overall we have more than 3 in 4 people who say race relations are good, versus 2 in 3 a little over a year ago."

Murray adds "we have large and significant populations - African American , Hispanic, Asian - and we find that half - 50 percent of New Jerseyans - say that this diversity has been good for the state, compared to just 8 percent who say that it's bad…28 percent report all or most of their friends are of a different race and another 55 percent say some of their friends are of a different race…however just 15 percent of white residents say that most of their friends are of a different race, versus 53 percent of those who are from a different race- and that's even higher among folks who are Hispanic or Asian."

He says the survey also finds "46 percent of those under the age of 35 - regardless of what racial background they are - say that most of their friends are of a different race than them - this compares to just 25 percent of those age 35 to 54, and 17 percent of those age 55 and older…we also find that 3 in 4 New Jerseyans say it is important for people to have close friends of a different race - 34 percent say it's very important in fact…and we find that most residents believe that racial equality - particularly between the black and white populations in this country - has either been achieved - at 42 percent - or will be achieved in their lifetime- with another 27 percent."