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. One more for McCain

    I honestly thought at first that Barak Obama was a fine man who would rise above the stereotypes and lead us all into a world of fair thinking, and mutual respect. Then enter 'reverend' Jeremiah Wright, and Americans chickens came home to roost. Now I know that Obama is a racist with an agenda. His climb up will be to a point that looks down on some of us. He can't really be everyobody's president.
    I hope and pray that John McCain wins this election.

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

    Goes to show how many ignorant people are in this country.

    There needs to be a major catastrophy in hopes of wiping out the racists SOB's.

    It's just horrible to know that these types of people exist, and everyone else has to suffer the consequences of their stupidity.

    September 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Republi-Con

    Joseph..I'm glad u will be able to sleep at night. I just hope you will have a house to sleep in and that you won't be sleeping under the stars in winter or in a shelter. Obama has demonstrated that he is concerned about those people in this country who have no voice in Washington. Those and who are on the frontline in tough times and are the first to suffer from Washington's neglect and ill advised decisions yet are never ever considered.

    September 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. lil

    I really believe it all you need to do is look at mccains crowds not the
    size but the ethnic groups only one white people not diverse at at all.
    But look at Obamas crowds they are of many ethnic groups his Obamas crowds look like the 21st century and 2008 not the 20th century and 1964. This is so scary to me. This to me mean that mccain and palin are polorizing and not includsive to all races even
    his campaign advisors or not deverse. Its as if he only wants one race
    vote. Thats my reason for not looking in black and white I only see
    in green.
    I have voting for the green men Obama/Biden 2008!
    Dont give me this about mccain reaching out to AA by admitting it was
    a mistake to vote against the king holiday.

    September 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. FL4OB

    This is the 21st Century. I am basing my decision on competency and new leadership away from the past eight years. Obama/Biden offer that positive direction, while I feel McCain/Palin are more of the same. Eight is enough!

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Biff

    WHO EVER BELIEVES OBAMA'S RACE IS AN "ADVANTAGE" FOR HIM MAY AS WELL BE LIVING ON MARS.

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. African American Hockey Mom

    Yeah, right. Can you please explain how Sen.Obama trashed and bashed HRC out of the nomination. Please give example of race-baiting?

    Maybe some of the HRC supporters will vote for Sen McCain. I truly do not understand why African American blindly vote for the democratic party anyway.

    Also how come the media is always talking about white female voters?
    They United States also has African Americans, Latinos and Asian women voters. Will our votes be counted!

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Unlevel Playing Field

    Predjudiced and slightly bigotted whites need to get over this false feeling of moral, ethical, intellectual, legal or other SUPERIORITY as compared to African Americans.

    I'm 47, black, male, married with children, with engineering and business degrees from Columbia University, a Christian, patriotic, fan of the blue-collar NY Giants and most of my closest friends are a lot like me. I'm not an anomaly.

    There is no objective metric that you can apply to compare Obama & Biden with McCain and Palin where the GOP team comes out ahead of the Democrats. Mr. OBAMA is head & shoulders above McCain.

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Excuses

    Well... we need to come up with a justification for Obama's poor showing in this campaign. The domocrats were supposed to be a shoo in.

    Obama needs EVER more money just to stay at 50%.

    Couldn't be his dirty politics and his cheating and his socialist agenda that impede his supremacy as LORD over all.

    Yep... must be race.

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Peter (CA)

    For those who do not think racism exists here, look at the responses on this blog (race bating works and Yeah, right). I commend Sen. Obama for not wanting to focus on this issue.

    Hopefully, as we get closer and after the debates, voters will see where this country is headed and know that McCain has no intention of changing this miserable course we are on.

    Obama is the only change we can reasonably expect. Hopefully, enough voters will see that.

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Diana Ewing NJ

    If race is going to play a part that make people vote or not vote for Barack Obama... I wonder which part of them they will walk away from.... His white mother, and grandparents who raised him or his black father that left him.
    As an older white woman, I only see a strong leader when I look at him???

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Rick from IL

    The only color I see is Blue! Former Republican voting Democratic this time around! Enough of McLoser and Pa-lin-in the butt!

    13 cars, 8 homes...NO way!

    Go Obama/Biden 2008

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Debby

    I think it will come down to race because Barack was a candidate for Change and Unity and he and his campaign have pitted people against each other with of course playing the race card with Bill Clinton and treating Hillary horribly in the primaries.

    Obama is out there to be the first AA President and thats it. Actually he deserves to win because he has so much on his shoulders to fix in our country and if he fails like he did with his community organizing, there is no chance of another AA to even get where he is today.

    Race-baiting never accomplish's anything and it makes whites vote the color of ones skin vs. likeability or qualification of the candidate.

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. wow!!!!!!!!!

    Independent but Leaning......yeah, you white trash should be leaning toward the cliff..........

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Kris

    Has NOTHING to do with RACE – obama is NOT qualified and that is the reason he will NEVER be elected.
    Seems it is always the obama gang that always brings up race.

    McCain/Palin – BEST for the USA

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. Chez

    I have fatih in my fellow citizens.
    Americans will not judge Barack Obama by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.

    Obama '08!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. carlo

    Race baiting:

    Go and look at Obama's resume, and compare it to McCain and Palin's and then get back to me. I didn't say watch them discuss it on Fox News, I said go and read them for yourself. We'll talk later.

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. N.S of Huntsville, Al

    ALL OBAMA CAN DO IS THE BEST THAT HE CAN. ITS ALL IN GODS HANDS ANYWAYS. I HOPE PEOPLE WILL MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE BASED ON FACTS; BUT WE LIVE IN A VERY CRUEL, HATRED WORLD, IT IS WHAT IT IS. I SEE NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE MADE COMMENTS, THE REASON IS RACE IS SO TOUCHIE BUT YET SO CLOSE TO ALL AMERICANS, WHITE, BLACK, ASIAN, HISPANIC, HAVE ALL FACED RACISM OR NO A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND THAT IS RACIST, THATS THE FACT. I VOTED FOR OBAMA NOT BECAUS HE WAS BLACK, BUT BECAUSE IM DEMOCRAT, IM NOT GOING AGAINST A DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR A REPUBLICAN, HELL NO LOOK AT WHATS HAPPENING UNDER THE ONE WE HAVE NOW? THAT SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR ALL RACES TO GET BUSH OUT.

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Joyce in Florida

    After seeing Hillary Clinton in person on 9/8/08, this Hillary supporter and white female will be voting for Obama/Biden this November. McCain/Palin are tooooooooo scary!!!!!!!! Again, it is all about the oil. No more of the same, no McCain, and definitely no Palin. Go Democrats. We will take back the White House!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Jacquelyn Wilson

    I have never heard Obama speak on anything but being an American. Being American comes in all kinds of people. If race is such an issue for some to not vote for a person, better reconize that all money is green and it is being attack like none other. So if a black, white or striped person can help solve the problems that America is facing let him or her. I tell you I am very racist against ignorant people.

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. RDS

    People like Independent and Leaning and Joseph need to grow up. Nobody said that just because you didn't support Obama that you are racist! Some blacks don't support him. Naturally, you're not the one's their talking about. But there are people out there who say that can't/won't vote for a black man regardless of his policies. Acknowledging that racism exist is not playing the race card! Stop being so sensitive if the shoe doesnt fit dont wear it, unless it does fit...in that case just keep stepping!

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Latina for Obama (nj)

    That is really sad!!

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Interesting...

    Where's the balance? How do blacks view whites? Would a majority of blacks vote for a white candidate if given an African American on the other ticket? Would these same black voters base their vote on the issues and not color? For the first time in our history we have the opportunity to poll to see if there's just as many issues in the reverse when the vote is for POTUS. Instead, we're only getting one side of the story.

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. wendy spice

    mccain said he know where osoma bin laden is, but if u don't make him the president he wont tell the american people, just the same way that bush said sadam disrespected his father & he was going to show him a lessson & he went to iraq kill the man & his sons & america is ok with that. Who will mccain take out when he is president.

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. truth

    surprise, surprise, the media and barack started to play the race card, since barack is not doing too well, I Can't wait for the presidential debates. Hillary supporter for Senator McCain/Palin
    PUMA

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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