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. Core

    We have come a long way but...here in Ohio I know people that agree with OB on almost every issue but won't vote for him because he is black... I even heard on person talk about their small town this way..."we wash our bed sheets friday, hang them out to dry on Saturday, and wear them on Sunday"...wow...like many times in this world good people are hurt or destroyed by hate, fear, and ignorance.

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Bill

    What percentage of blacks are not voting for McCain because he's white? Could this also be construed as racist?

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Claire, Vermont

    Its such a cop-out for anyone to claim that 90% of African americans are
    voting for Obama because of his race. African Americans vote
    DEMOCRAT 90% of the time while voting for a white candidate 100%
    of the time. It is amazing how some whites can dismiss a qualified
    person on the basis of race even if he is HALF of what you are. You
    disclaim your own?

    Obama / Biden 08.

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. pam

    Even if race does play a role in this election I don't think it will help mccain; I don't think anything will help him; he's part of the past

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Marie in California

    I'm sure some whites will not vote for Obama because of race, but I think their numbers are small.

    To me, the most racist element in this entire election cycle is the fact that 90% or more of blacks vote for Obama, which leads me to believe they are voting BECAUSE of race. That's racist.

    Needless to say, there would be a huge outcry of RACISM if 90% of whites voted for the white candidate. Why isn't there the same outcry and blame when 90% of blacks vote for Obama?

    Skin color should not matter....in either direction, black or white!

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Larry of Boston

    I do not trust Obama. That is not racist.

    I do not believe Obama is qualified. That is not racist.

    Obama has little to no experince when compared to McCain. That is not racist.

    Obama talks sharply and is cunning and knows how to wage campaigns – that is NOT what is needed in the White House. That is not racist.

    McCain has built his reputation with deeds and years of experience while Obama is trying to make his reputation with just words on what he will do. That is not racist

    If Obama's argument to me to give him my vote is that McCain has 13 cars and 7 houses and Obama has just one $4 million home and drives a Ford hybrid - that is a terrible wasted of campaign dollars.for Obama to spend and I do not want that sort of person handling my money or that of the country's. That ain't racist

    And anyone who does not think that race has helped Obama in the Sourthern states against Hillary in the primaries where 95% of blacks voted for Obama, you are nuts. Now, that might be racist; I am not sure, but if it is, it is Obama's racism to blame.

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Smith in Ohio

    Independent but Leaning, perhaps you didn't read the entire artcicle: "2.5 percent of those surveyed — said they may turn away from Obama because of his race". And those are simply the people who will admit it.

    I do not think you are racist just because you don't want to vote for Obama. But if you don't want to vote for him because of his race – then you are absolutely racist.

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. Jack

    RACE – an Issue – NOT!
    But – it is a FACT that 96% of all AA's vote for obama – due to
    RACE PRIDE!

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Ken

    This is not about race, but that Obama thinks that he is better then the rest of us. That he lacks the experience, skills, knowledge and talents!

    I don't trust him to be our next president. He has shown that he is like any other politician and that he lied saying that he was a different kind of politician.

    I am a Hillary Clinton supporter that is voting for McCain/Palin because I want someone in the oval office that knows what they are doing, and not some "Rookie" doing "OJT"!

    McCain/Palin 2008

    Hillary Clinton 2012

    September 22, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. MEP

    So can ignorance, age,prejudice,lack of education and experience and dishonesty.Let's look at the polls again closer to the election.(What questions are the pollsters asking exactly?)

    September 22, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. GET REAL.

    On behalf of my fellow white people, I want to dare other white people to give Obama the shot he deserves. If you really think he's going to fail because of his race, put your vote where your mouth is and give him the shot. I personally give you permission to say "I told you so" if he doesn't work out.

    You're just scared. Remember: the prophets and messiahs in all your religions weren't even white.

    September 22, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. John

    I am a minority and I am not voting for Obama. Why? I do not agree with his socialist ideology...

    September 22, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Reality Check richmond virginia

    I have said it will be 5%. Now keep in mind, alot of that 5% would vote for McCain(GOP) anyway, but 1-2% could be the difference in this election.

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. conny

    So So Sad, as a female (Ret) Vet to continue to hear such ignorance is sad. Just to think ,in ALL of the wars a person may (just may) look at race for second but, bottom line you are out their protecting yourself and your fellow soldier. Just last evening while getting ready for bed i thought: We have had enough of the presense administration and to inherit 4 more years is crazy and then the race issue came to my head WOW! i can just imagine that Sen McCain/Gov Palin, in their own minds are/would be thinking that all they have to do is play some hard ugly politics and be talked about for a moment and just know that at the end of the day Sen Obama, wouldn't see the door to White house because of his race! At this very moment in time the United States have more serious issues. Sen Obama is smart and at least he thinks because he blots out a solution, heck blotting may easy put us in another war. At the end of the day we need change

    Obama Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. A Patel

    No black No white We all for United state of America.But 97% Black vote for Mr Obama.

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Former Republican for OBAMA

    AS A WHITE MAN I AM ASHAMED THIS IS

    EVEN A SUBJECT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    MCSENILE IS ALL THIS NATION IS NOT &

    BARACK OBAMA IS ALL WE WANT TO BE,

    FORWARD THINKING, UNITED, A WORLD LEADER

    & IN CHARGE OF OUT NATION & OUR DESTINY.

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    If there was race neutrality, the contest would probably be dead-even since about 95% of blacks will vote for Obama.

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. SJP

    This is a pathetic excuse for why the race is so close. And it is really sad when people say a vote for the experienced guy is racism. Maybe some of us fear the lack of experience, or the destruction of our health care system, or more costly programs to bankrupt our country. Or maybe we want to vote for the guy who realizes that the energy problem isn't going to go away with conservation alone – Nuclear as well as wind, solar and others and more production of oil here in the USA.

    I'm sorry that I have to be considered a racist because of these views. By the way, who are most black people voting for?

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. TexasVet

    Thanks for posting this story AGAIN! Can we talk about something more interesting like McCain's AGE and his diminished mental capacity as a result of it. Why is no one but the Wall Street Journal willing to talk about this? I believe that would have more of an actual affect on the presidency. Can you also talk about the fact that Obama is preparing for the debates by working out and McCain is doing so by NAPPING.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. TESAP;SAVANNAH, GA

    inuk of the north if obama is the new Jimmy carter who would that make Mccain....Bush and all the other republicans.............. YEAH THE PEOPLE TAKLING US INTO A GREAT DEPRESSION.........

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. vanessa

    America,

    The world is watching, But then again, I am not shocked. Need I remind you all that just this year we had people hanging nooses around the country!!!

    America, the world is watching.
    You will rather suffer for another four years than vote for a man who is half black.

    WOW!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. nate

    A racist America is the only hope the GOP has left.

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. onelove

    Where are talking heads getting that 90% of black people are voting for Obama. Whenever I see Sen. Obama at a rally or other event I see a sea of white faces.

    A lot ofr Blacks are voting for Obama because America is in need of a change and we believe since Iowa believed he can win. Iowa and other white states voted for Obama, which in turn made blacks more comfortable to vote for him. Besides we've always voted for the white guy.

    I checked McCain's policies at his website against Obama's policies and trust me, Sen. Obama is for the little guy/girl. Our skin color is not the issue the policies are.

    September 22, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Poole4Obama

    Inuk must be from Alaska.

    Can you see Russia from your hoooouusseee too?

    Comparing Obama to Carter is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time. The only thing that links them is their both democrats.

    Obama's tax plan makes sense, unless you make over 250,000 Inuk.

    I guess that's a testament to Alaskan education.

    Good job Palin.

    September 22, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Abby

    RACE – is not the reason – obama is NOT qualified – that is why he will never be elected.

    McCain/Palin – BEST for our country

    September 22, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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