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. Didine - Maryland

    No doubt race will play a huge role in this election for some people because a lot of whites can not vote for a person of color. They will find all kinds of excuses not to vote for Obama. Other people have put this race issue on the side and will vote for Barack because of issues he is fighting for. But with God's grace, Obama will be our next President.

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. dian

    Every time the question is asked, "Why Obama is not further ahead" someone should admit that its race as a factor.
    It's the answer they're are waiting for....Sorry, I know everyone would like for it not to be his race, but it is...
    Let's be honest!

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Poole4Obama

    Independent –

    So what your telling me is that McCain IS ready to lead? Are you serious...

    Even if you look at this election as the lesser of two evils... Obama should STILL be your choice.

    McCain (and I'll say it because they can't) is an idiot like his predecessor. He has no idea on how to run anything, especially the economy... Jesus, HE SAID THIS HIMSELF!

    The government, to avoid panic will never say this, this country is in trouble.

    Obama, while maybe not the most experienced, actually uses thought and plans his words carefully... he is an intelligent man, and a man of reason. Not a war hungry ex POW ready to pounce on the first thing that moves in the middle east!

    McCain has flip flopped more than a lake trout out of water. Deregulation, Regulation... We are a sound economy, we're in a crisis... Fire the SEC chairman, yada yada yada..

    All of the sudden he's a reformer and anti-bush and he's been with the whole family for over 20 years!

    And don't get me started on his VP. That's a story for another day.

    There I said it.

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. ran

    Unfortunately racism is alive and well in this country.

    Anyone who will not vote for Obama because of his race should not be allowed to vote.

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Don

    It's nice to see the Hillary clones are starting to tone it down. Only one idiot on this thread. It's a start.

    Wake up. Obama wasn't nearly as negative on Hillary as she was on him. And he didn't have to go negative until she started her "kitchen sink" attacks because she was LOSING!!!!! Coupled with the fact that nearly 50% of the country didn't like her before the election even started. Obama had very little to do with the negativity toward Hillary.

    Get over it. Obama is the candidate that best supports Hillary's issues. McCain/Palin would seek to destroy everything Hillary fought for.

    It's not racist for Hillary voters to vote against Obama. It's just collosally STUPID.

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. dan

    I like Obama and I would love to vote for him. The race issue makes him even more desirable to me as a voter, not less so. If he were not so liberal, I would vote for Obama, but there's no way.

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. lets be real

    Obama is running on his race.

    The fact that he made it this far is either reverse-racism or proof that race is NOT a factor.

    Why is everyone voting AGAINST Sarah Palin? Oh... must be that gender is a big factor. Were it not for GENDER I'm sure the democrats would just LOVE Sarah Palin.

    I'm sure that Obama has a real appeal to conservatives. Too bad he is half black- otherwise all those fiscal and social conservatives would just love his socialist agenda.

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Trish

    The sad part of it all, is these people that are bias, go to church everyday and does not get that jesus died for all mankind. A true christian will try to remove all prejudice from their heart.

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. brownie

    If you put the old and new George Bush and mix them up we get McCain ....... dear lord ... GOD help us!

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Biff

    HERE COME ALL OF THE RIGHT WING TALKING POINTS....
    BRACE YOURSELVES....

    tax and spend
    socialism
    Jimmy Carter....

    blah blah blah....

    ANYTHING except ACKNOWLEDGE THAT RACISM STILL EXISTS.

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. GET REAL PEOPLE

    Seriously, John McCain did not say the economy is strong he was talking about us the people who make the economy. I am so tired of people only hearing what they want to. And twisting things around to be what they want to hear. I am a 30 year old white woman and I will not be voting for Obama I will vote for MCCAIN/PALIN not because he is black but because he is not able or capable to lead this country.

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Obamacan

    I dont beleive in Rush Limbaugh America. People who still have racial attitude are shame to America because America is the best hope on earth. Equality, justice, freedom are American values. If we show our racial face to the world, what they would say about us? Will CNN put this comment here? Lets see.

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Rev Wright

    I am not voting for him because of his Socialist Agenda and lack of expierence

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. a southern bell for OBAMA

    I HAVE TO ADMIT, I AM LILLY WHITE FROM A LILLY

    WHITE FAMILY & LILLY WHITE FRIEND,OF WHICH, AT

    LEAST 2/3 DID NOT INTEND TO VOTE FOR BARACK, AT

    THE BEGINNING OF THIS ELECTION. WE HAD A BAD

    & HORRIBLE MIND SET THAT MANY WHITES HAVE IN

    THE SOUTH, FOR GENERATIONS & GENERATIONS.

    AFTER A GREAT DEAL OF CONSIDERATION & GETTING

    TO KNOW BOTH CANDIDATES WE ARE AT 82% FOR

    BARACK OBAMA & CONSIDER HIM A BLESSING FROM GOD.

    MOST OF US VOTED FOR GEORGE BUSH & WE FEEL THAT

    WE ARE COMPLICIT IN A CRIME AGAINST OUR NATION

    & THE WORLD. WE HAVE LEARNED THE HARD WAY. WE

    ARE CHRISTIANS THAT HAVE NOT BEHAVED AS CHRISTIANS.

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Michael

    IF people don't want to vote for Obama becaus of his policy positions then that is that individuals choice. However, to cast your vote against him simply becasue he is NOT white is rediculous.

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. BOBBY K. FROM BIRMINGHAM, AL.

    N.S in Hunstville Alabama,
    I could'nt agree with you more!!! I live in Alabama which is a RED state, bible thumping hypocrits, WHO ARE REALLY STUCK IN THE PAST. I KNOW THEIR WILL BE ALOT OF BLACKS and SOME WHITES VOTING FOR OBAMA!!!! WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN HERE IN ALABAMA. I VOTED FOR OBAMA AND WILL AGAIN COME 11/4/08.
    THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENT!!!
    CNN PLEASE POST

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. George Ennis from Toronto, Canada

    Of course there are those who to avoid being called racist would prefer to believe the lie that Obama is a Moslem and presumably even if that was true that would make him unfit for office. (Apparently it's OK to be anti Islam.) The problem with that is it makes clear that these people really do hate Moslems. Makes for an awkward foreign policy in the Middle East I would say. Of course hypocrisy will do that to you every time.

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. Zeppo

    Opompous can’t win. If you look at the AOL straw poll (where McCain is winning every state) and match it against the electoral map and you give Obama every state where he got more than 39 percent of the vote, even then he still looses by a landslide.

    The Dems picked the wrong candidate.

    OPOMPOUS thought his 3AM text mesage to tell Hillary she is not picked was cute.

    OPOMPOUS thought that playing ADDICTED TO LOVE after Bill spoke at the convention was cute.

    OPOMPOUS thought that he can call Palin a pig and McCain an old fish and noone would notice because he is sooo cute!

    OPOMPOUS thought there was 57 states!

    OPOMPOUS has never had a real job!

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. Palin has more experience than Obama

    Call me what you will but I am not voting for Obama b/c his lack of experience.

    Bring on the name calling!!!!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Sure

    When we cried sexism when Hillary was in the race, we were told that was not so – that she lost becuase she did not run a good campaign and Obama was the better candidate.

    If Obama does not win you will all cry its "becasue he is black" and not becasue he did not run a good campaign. McCain will win because he is "white" and for that reason only.

    Right!!! Sure thing, that is why Obama will lose, ha ha ha. Get a life.

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. please

    independent but leaning –
    your post is too funny, really, if I wasn't at work, I'd probably die laughing. Point to Obama's policies as being failed Carter ones. Umm, hmm, let me think for a sec. How about McCain's and the GOP's policies DIRECTLY causing the problems we have today? No, better talked about Carter, that makes more sense. To funny. I think you need to change your name to "GOP shill", not independent.

    September 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. susan

    Great! We get lumbered with a lying, smearing incompetent President and fundamentalist idiot during at least two wars and economic meltdown caused by Bush, because 6% of Americans hate half of Obama's blood.
    How can you people hold your heads up?
    How can you do this to our country?

    September 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Bellamy

    President John F Kennedy said "ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country"

    Phrased another way for today's context: Its about the Red, White and Blue and not the color of me and you.

    People need to put their racial prejudices aside and vote what's best for the United States. After 8 years of GW Bush, the (should be) obvious answer is Obama/Biden and not 4 more of the same.

    September 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. Dan

    I believe there are more people vote for Obama because he is a black than people won't vote for him. Just look at what happened in the primaries. That is how he defeated Hillary, more than 90% of blacks voted for him.

    September 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Vicki

    STOP BRINGING RACE INTO THIS!!

    I'm sooooo sick of hearing that if you don't vote for Obama, you're a racist. I won't vote for Obama because he is a radical LIBERAL who wants to turn our great country into a socialist nation.

    With every article like this you are basically telling people if they don't vote for Obama in November then they are automatically a racist. Enough with the race bating already!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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