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.

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Polls
soundoff (544 Responses)
  1. Bulldog

    I appreciate Obama's answer on 60 minutes to this issue. He said that it is all a wash and is not making a political thing out of it. Obama said that he believe most voters will vote for or against him because of his ideas and stances on the important issues of healthcare, the economy, war, college tutition and so on. Obama is a decent man and he proved it once again in his interview.

    September 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. joseph

    its been a week since someone played the race card, I still dont feel bad for not voting for obama, and if that makes me a racist then GOOD I will sleep fine at night. The change we need is to get away from the 2 party dictatorship we currently are suffering from.

    September 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Lisa

    It's sad that people are still stuck in the 1700s!

    September 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. NORA, FLORIDA

    That's funny because to let sooooooooooo many other Americans tell the story. America has come a long way. Well from the topic line of this blog; America has not come far enough if we are still dealing with this issue. And they wonder why people are fighthing to keep Affirmative Action in place!!!! Are you that blind that you don't have the answer to that question.

    When racism no longer exist, then Affirmative Action should no longer exist. This country is looming with racism is so many parts of America but so many do not want to face the reality of it. Racism exists folks. ADMIT IT AND MOVE ON!!! There will be idiots forever!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. J from DC

    Some will, some wont because for race. We already know that is true. I just gave $50 to Obama because I am sick of this economy. In November Obama gets my vote. I know John McCain has no idea what to do, because he said the economy was strong when it is not. Now we have to pay so much money to get the banks out of trouble. So, why are we still spending all this money in Iraq? If McCain wins this election, he will keep spending billions every month in Iraq? I don’t think McCain cares how much the war cost, because McCain and his rich friends will keep eating. They are getting their money now (today) in this bailout. While, the rest of us have to wait to see who gets elected. I have friends who say they can’t see themselves voting for Obama, even though they like him. They say they will vote for McCain even though they don’t like him or Palin. They are just Republicans voting the party line. Still, here we all seem to agree on one thing. If Obama don’t win, the rest of us will get nothing, but more taxes. Then, when we lose our jobs, and can’t pay for our homes. They will take them and sell them to someone else, for half the price. It is happening every day, right here, right now, before the election. Obama needs our vote, and our money to win in November. Let’s support him now, before it is too late. As for the Republican, I tell them to vote Obama or Bob Barr if they truly want their party back.

    September 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. USAF Staff Sergeant

    So sad... to think some people are actually still so ignorant they wouldn't vote for someone based on race.

    September 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. mitchell

    for the first time in my adult life, i'm really proud of my country. i would be really really proud of my country if we could overcome the bigotry that still infests our culture.

    i'm a lone white guy ,in arkansas, who is proud of being color-blind.

    September 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Jack - DSM, Iowa

    CNN has been running this story for over a week now. I guess news doesn't neccesarily mean "new". I love the other story they posted about the latest poll standings. Well, not really the latest poll standings, but that infamous CNN poll-of-polls. Where they honey pick what polls they want to use and create an average from those polls. Every day it gets harder and harder to tell the difference between CNN and the Drudge Report.

    September 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Mark

    If Obama loses this election solely because of his race, the US will be the disgrace of the entire planet. I think its time Europe took over as the leader's of the free world.

    September 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. McCain Bill1991

    so sad whites still fear Black men....you would rather see our country in ruin than elect a Black man? i hope for the sake of the people who feel that way that Jesus does not come back as a Black man, what would you do then?

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. FreeNLovIt

    For eight years, we hired an elephant who didnt understand the principles of economics, today, we are seeing, reaping and inheritor of the burdens of an experienced man without judgement, why in the world would you want to vote for McBushain and PalinCheney? They are oil-based politicians.

    Why do you want to wear the same underwears, after eight years? With Palin's D grade in economics, she is bound to fail if she inherits the title from McCain. You have to be smart and be able to understand the dynamics of states with diverse economies, not just oil-based economy

    Palin is a good woman, but wrong for America.

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Anti Palin...Pro Women

    =====wow, that's shocking====

    we wanna free middle east from evil , we can't even take care of own problems here.

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    DUH - now there's a newsflash! That's clearly why Obama isn't crushing McCain thus far - I just hope it's not enough to make him lose the election, or this country is doomed.

    Proud old white woman for Obama.

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Independent but Leaning

    Here we go again... if you don't vote for Obama it's beacuse you are a racist. Pathetic.

    Perhaps it's because his policies are all tried and failed Jimmy Carter re-treads. He doesn't remember the Carter administartion because he was getting high, but for those of us who cared about our country back before we decided to make a career out of being a politician, we can see exactly where he's trying to lead us.

    Obama: Ready to get elected. Not ready to lead.

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. Brandon

    It's very sad to think that this country hasn't come far enough to put these types of things aside. You have two candidates who are VERY different from each other. For the average middle-income worker, Obama or an Independent candidate will work harder for you, and you've got racist people out there who will either vote for McCain out of spite, or the even dumber sexist clowns out there that vote the McBush ticket because "Daily Scandal Palin" just happens to not have a penis. Wow.

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Sarah Palin and African Americans in Alaska

    Hellooooooo????? We (minorities) have been saying it all the while, but who are we? No one pays attention to us and what we have to say. We all just need to forgive the past and move on. Sounds like it isn't the minorities that need to move on.

    Anyone who is of mixed race is considered black. It's whites who are unforgiving, jealous, vindictive and hypocritical. Not all, but the majority of those who say they aren't (to your face) really are.

    But we minorities already know this in our everyday experiences.

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. mark from NY

    obama will loose because he does not look like me. what a stupid idea. i think that i am racist. some white american are stupid for hating another human being because of the color of his skin.

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. value

    What else is new . We know race will play a part . They should look at that 401K or other investment and get a reality check and vote for the smart guy.

    Obama.....08

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Cindy from NC

    This may be true to an extent but I am not going to buy into because this may be another way to sway voters from obama.

    He is and will make a great president and that is all that matters. He is going to have enough new registered voters to counter act those few holding resentment. He is the future of AMERICA.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08/12

    September 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. Joe the Troll

    If it weren't for racial prejudice, the polls wouldn't be nearly as close as they are now. We need to wake up and stop calling ourselves the "leaders of the free world" until we manage, as a nation, to grow up.

    September 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. AMERICAN

    The reason why all those so called ex Hillary supporters aka Pukas are voting for Mccain is because they are obviously bigots and racist.

    September 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Frank

    Of course .... there are just two reasons to vote for McCain. Lack of understanding the issues on hand and racism. Simple as that, honestly.

    September 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Sam Benegal

    Mccain will win... Does not matter if he has 13 cars/7 homes and Obama has 1car/1home. Mccain will still win although most of his ads are false and his running mate is totally inexperienced.... Mccain will still win even if he is just attacking Obama without discussing real issues. Mccain will still win even if he does miserable in the Debates. Mccain will still win even although he voted 90% of the time with unpopular Bush..

    Why??? Look at the Poll numbers in 3 most hard hitting states (Florida/Ohio/Nevada) in this economic meltdown. Mccain is up there... Because the sad truth is that there are many Americans (even 30% Democrats) are wiling to take a gamble to loose their work, job or savings rather see a black man as a President..

    September 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Greg, NY

    This is bad.

    September 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Deb, Allentown, PA

    I only wish that all the idiots who truly will not vote for Obama because of his race would be the only ones to suffer should McCain and Palin actually win this election. What's even more amazing is that the people who won't vote for him because he's black are the ones that are suffering the most under the Republican administrations.

    And before a McCain supporter says something stupid, like "all black people are voting for Obama so that makes up the votes Obama will lose" let me point out that Kerry received over 90% of the black vote in 2004. African-Americans generally vote for Democratic principles more than they vote for color.

    September 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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