September 22nd, 2008
02:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Race could play big role in election, poll suggests

A poll finds a small percentage of voters said they may turn away from Sen. Barack Obama because of his race.
A poll finds a small percentage of voters said they may turn away from Sen. Barack Obama because of his race.

(CNN) - A new study that surveyed racial attitudes suggests that racial prejudices could tip the balance in the coming presidential election.

If there were no racial prejudice among voters, Sen. Barack Obama would receive about 6 percentage points more support, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll, designed in partnership with Stanford University.

The results suggest that 40 percent of white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, including more than a third of white Democrats and independents. A small percentage of voters - 2.5 percent of those surveyed - said they may turn away from Obama because of his race.

Though Obama is of mixed race - his mother was white, his father black - he is generally identified as black.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Polls
soundoff (544 Responses)
  1. Kel in Auburn, AL

    This is the truth. The sad part about it is that so many Americans are stupid enough to be prejudiced to this degree. Our country has come so far, yet we still have so far to go.

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. eric

    How sad for we white Americans. We profess to be the home of the brave and land of the free. We cannot even get over the idea that race has anything to do with one's ability to be a positive member of society and succeed. How sad.

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. Gidget Goes To Washington

    Blacks vote as Democrats 90% of the time whether the DEM candidate is male,female,white or black.

    We have always been a strong DEM voting block. This is the first time in my life that white people have made such an issue about since Obama is black.

    Nobody makes a big deal that 90% blacks supported Kerry,or Gore or Clinton.

    My only issue is with the 10% that are not on-board with the right movement!

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Carol for McCain all the way

    LET'S PAY ATTENTION HERE – tTHE RUSSIANS ARE COMING ! In the NEWS – THE RUSSIANS ARE HEADED FOR VENEZULA for WAR GAMES. Shouldn't WE ( the US of A ) be concerned? These are the MATTERS that ARE IMPORTANT ! This is called NATIONAL SECURITY. The race of the candicate is of least importance. It's his qualifications in handling NATIONAL SECURITY and being able to judge when a situation might become a threat. Listen up people! Talking won't get the boat out of the water !

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Keep America safe, McCain in 08

    Give me a Break.
    BO started the race card.
    BO is the racist.!!!!!
    BO thinks he better then the non Black. and even some BLACKS!!!!
    BO is not qualified to lead this country.!
    BO ha to much baggage!
    BO has to many Dem. in his pockets, thst if he wins it willbe pay back time.
    White Black or Green BO is not qualified to lead this countr in war and or peace.
    Most White AMerican support many of the Black leadaer, entertainers, etc. so don't fibe me this crap with non blacks being racist. My question is how many non whites ar voting for MCCain?? Thes non white ar voting color not qualifications.

    September 22, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. kathy

    It's a down right dirty shame that in the year 2008 racism is still an issue. Obama is a good man and has plenty to offer. We all have black friends, co-workers, etc that we hold dear. Why can't we have the same point of view when i comes to the president?

    September 22, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. Say What???

    Anyone surprised by this revelation??

    The truth is while only a few will admit publically that they would not vote for a black man (or any other minority), at least half of those that publcally say it's "not an issue" will choose differently once they are in the privacy of thier voting booth.

    September 22, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. John, FL

    This guy is AMERICAN, first and foremost.

    September 22, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Lindsay

    I remember when this race first began; an overwhelming majority of people said that the US is ready to have a black president or a woman president. Now that it looks like Obama may actually win, people are changing their minds. People are not voting on the issues, they are voting on the person. If we let this presidency go to the lying and conniving McCain and Palin (whose foreign experience is being able to see Russia from her house), we are in a sad state. Whites not voting for Obama because of his race will be showing blacks their true colors and how they really feel about us, and honestly, I will have a different view of whites. Give it up for Obama. He is the best man to run our country.

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. anotherview

    so, if you vote against BHO you're a racist? Consider the old-time political joke- three candidates run for president of a union local where all but two of the members are of Irish descent (the other 2 are Swedish)...the final tally O'Malley -160 Kelly – 138 Swenson -2
    Kelly goes over to congratulate the winner and says "those Swedes are a real clannish lot"

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Chickens of Justice

    Obama is to blame for how he behaved towards the base of his own party throughout the primary.

    At that time- winning the primary by any means was his goal.

    He thought all those democrats he trashed and dismissed would just come back in the end. What choice would they have.

    Oh well.....

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. PA

    Race!, Race!!, Race!!!. Is somebody trying to inject race again? Is somebody trying to remind us that Obama is still a black man? Is somebody trying to remind white Americans that Obama is a black man and they should not vote for him? Get off this mentality, people. We thought America have matured enough beyond this mentality, not to say that some people will not continue to cling to their racial bigotry, but please CNN, we are all surfering this same problem today our current government put us all into and I think should be a better issue to discuss and write about.. We all know that racism is and still remains America's achille's heel. IF race is no longer prevalent now than in the 60's, then this is 2008, hence, race ought not to be a deciding factor.

    The world is all watching us!!!

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. BK

    CNN and Obama looking for 'white guilt' votes. It won't work he has no EXPERIENCE!

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. The Conservative

    Yap, thanks to "fixnews" and the like. Some media source keep rural america in the dark! This time, young voters will make a difference! The bigots will be surprised!

    Obama-Biden '08

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Sweetgreen

    Saying that Obama is receiving 90% of the black vote means absolutely nothing when you compare the fact that all DEMOCRATIC nominees have done just a well. You are comparing apples with apples.

    Now if Barack were a Republican and he were getting 90% of the black vote would be an indicator that race is the issue!

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Smiley from Conyers, GA

    It is a known fact that many whites would never vote for Obama. The only vote a black man is likely to get from these same racist people is MVP of their favorite sport. Most of these people will root for blacks in sports but would hate to see them become powerful leaders outside of the stats. It's pathetic and America is becoming more and more pathetic. America's going broke and all these people can think about is the color of one's skin. They should've left all the black people in Africa and we wouldn't even be discussing this now.

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. WI Cheesehead

    America’s true colors are beginning to show and will be in full bloom this fall and don’t nobody blame Obama. I am not talking about red/white/blue and I am not talking about the autumn colors either. Some have hidden behind so called religious values, others behind freedom of expression but it all point to one thing, hate and we all need to look in the mirror before things get worse.

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. You should have voted for Hillary!!!

    Obama supporters and the news media are why this election is considered "racial." The american people just want what and who are best for this country. We don't give a schitt about what color their skin is. We just want them to be able to lead and get us out of this mess.

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Byrd

    Why did all those moms that supported Hillary all off a sudden switched to mcain when palin was added to the ticket?? when(1)hilary and obamma views on the country are almost the same and identical, even i thought those 2 would have been a great dream team(2)palins views are completly opposite from hiiary....could it be because of ...oh i dont know....RACE

    September 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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