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. Lisa

    I would not even give this type of "research" the time of day as it only perpetuates the myth. The data were collected in an unreliable fashion. We are better that this as a country and a people. Barriers will be broken in this election!
    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Let's go over this again: The reason the country is facing a new Great Depression, is that since the glory days of St. Ron Reagan, who said “Government isn’t the solution to our problems; government is the problem", the Republican Party has been systematically deregulating banking, energy, and anything that was good for corporate America's big fat bottom line. Now the policies that John McCain has supported for 26 years [along with Dumbya] have destroyed our economy. If you consider the "experience" of voting for bad policies more important than a fresh vision for America, you are sadly ignorant and deserve to lose everything you hold dear. PERIOD!

    September 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. CitizenAJ

    I agree with Senator Obama. The majority who will vote for him will vote for him because they support his plans and vision for the nation and those who will not vote for him, will not because they do not support his vision and plans for the country. America has come a long way but prejudices will always exist, here and around the world. The good news is, is America has move so far that a person of color and a woman can be in this position.

    So, Joseph, I don't think you are racist because you are not voting for the Obama/Biden ticket!

    September 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Liz

    Please, give me a break. I am a black person and I chose not to support Obama, does that make it anything to do with race. What about all the black people who are voting for Obama because he is black? Does that make it a racial issue? What about all the black people who are not voting for McCain because he is white? It does not matter the reason behind why I am not voting for a candidate. If I do not like or trust a candidate I will not vote for them. So please stop making race an issue and let people vote for whoever they feel comfortable with. Do you want us to feel guilty because we decide to vote for the white candidate and not the black candidate? I thought this was a democratic and free country so we can vote for whoever we feel is the right person for each of us.

    CNN, its you and the other media who are making this a racial election. Obama knew that there are some white people out there that will not vote for a black person and McCain knows that there are some black people out there that will not vote for a white man. It works both ways so why is it only racial when the white person does not want to vote for a black candidate?

    September 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Fed Up

    It's obvious that bigotry and ideals of the KKK are still alive and well in many parts of the country. That is a fact. Let's hope it doesn't result in a disaster in November with a win by McSame. Then we'll truly deserve what we get.

    Just say NO to Bush 44 and Caribou Barbie.

    GO Obama/Biden!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Republican for Obama

    The people on this blog stating it has nothing to do with race are not being honest. I personally know 6 people who trust me enough to tell me they will not vote for a black man. So either all 6 racists in this country are living in close proximity or there is a naivety to these statements saying racism does not exist.

    People saying that it's not because he is black it's his lack of experience, my question to you is, what do you qualify Palin as then? She has less education and foreign experience and yet she gets a big thumbs up from the Republican base? I guess you need a new argument.

    Honesty is the only way to overcome this issue. I don't have much faith in honesty these days.

    September 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Michigan Independent

    ...grow up America... good and bad...comes in ALL colors!

    Policy, temperament and intelligence should rule this decision...anything less is letting America down....

    September 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Michael

    How biased can this poll be? Of course some whites hold a negative view of blacks. BUT you have to look at it the other way. How many blacks hold a negative view of whites. I bet it's a greater percentage. But wait, blacks can't be racist because that doesn't fit in the mainstream liberal media. If I were wrong on this, then there wouldn't be 96% of black Americans voting for Obama.

    September 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. drummajor66

    Are you guys paid Obama staffers or are you volunteers?
    The media especially CNN, MSNBC & ABC are so attached to Obama's butt until you have zero credibility left. More people are watching BBC America & Fox now because of your blatant Obama butt kissing.
    Even people who don't like Fox are watching Fox, just to get some kind of balanced news. Obama isn't the Messiah over there, everything isn't racist over there.
    BBC America is the best. They go after everbody equally something CNN used to do. You know, back when you really were the most trusted.

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Yes We Can

    Obama will win because of his intelligence and judgement no problem on this choice its like daylight Obama /dark dungeon ,out of touch in the dark 1800's mind set ,calls computers "The mystery box " can't even send an email OMG I am 78 years been on here for years where in the hell has McBush been ?
    It just shows how bright he isn" an old stick in the mud t mired so deep he don't know where he is ,what he has said in last 5 minutes and lies continually .123 houses and 13 vehic les + Millions he has not a clue what the everyday folks have to deal with the old crook
    Remember McWar will not deny that crooked old Gramm would be his Treasury Secretary (look Phill Gramm up for all the donatio s that came his way .)
    Read these "Lipstick on pittbulls *" Sam Harris .org
    McCain and the POW cover-up by Sydney h. Schauhberg

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Tony

    Things are at the worst in they have been in America since 1929.

    If people vte against Obama simply because he is a bi-racial man, then whatever happens to them they will have deserved.

    Obama's being half white and half black should have NOTHING to do with whether or not you vote for him. If Americans were not so uninvolved and lazy, would get the facts instead of listening to lies and rumors, Obama would be ahead by 20 points or more. Americans call themselves progressive. What a joke! Racism, bigorty and hate are also part of what makes America what it is and sadly things haven't changed all that much.

    If Obama had a name like John and looked more white than black, people would vote for him.

    How pathetic and hypocritical. Should McCain and Palin win in November, I hope that for each person who voted for them that things get as bad as they possibly can. Sometimes that is the only way to wake people up.

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Chris

    It is really pathetic that after all these years the American people can't look past petty issues such as race and gender. For all the people that say that Obama has gotten to where he is right now due to the color of his skin is completely ridiculous. In fact, if anything, his road to becoming such an important figure in our time has been much MORE difficult than the average candidate. It only shows how people tend to view politics in the first place. The American people need to learn that for Democracy to work, then they need to vote on the issues/policies of each candidate. I am getting very sick of the current campaign smear tactics, and I can't wait till the debates on friday. While Obama is probably practicing talking about his policies, McCain is probably still trying to come up with them.

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. JEric

    Yep, it seems they've already formed PUMA and NOBAMA. Time to call these closet racists out for who they are.

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. beevee

    I hope not . It would be such a shame not to vote for a brilliant person just because he is not white. I hope those who think like that should also think of the alternative choice – the senile old man and his running mate Miss Alaska runner up who thinks she gained foreign policy experience and expertise by smelling Russia breeze over the straits.

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. Sue, Shawnee, OH

    I am one old white uneducated female. You know what I say? Look at the mess these real smart white people have made of my country and I sure as hell don't want any more of them! Go Obama/Biden!!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. The Truth Always Hurts and Offends Liberals

    THE DRIVE BY MEDIA AND OBAMA ARE DOING A GREAT JOB OF PLAYING THE RACE CARD BECAUSE THEY/HE KNOWS HIS BACKGROUND IS THAT OF ONE WHO IS INEXPERIENCED, HAS A HORRIBLE VOTING RECORD IN THE SENATE WHERE HE ENTERED MOSTLY PRESENT (COULD NOT MAKE A DECISION), PICKED A HORRIBLE RUNNING MATE, HAS AMERICA HATERS/TERRORISTS FOR PARTNERS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS AND IF IT WAS KNOWN TO ALL THAT HIS OWN HALF BROTHER IS LIVING ON $12 A YEAR WHILE HE IS FILTHY RICH (WHEN HE SAYS HE IS EVERYONE'S BROTHER...HA!!) WOULD NOT BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. OH YES, CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS HAVE ALREADY SENT OVER $2,000 TO HIS HALF BROTHER SO HE COULD LIVE A BETTER LIFE.

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Mrs.L

    I find it shocking that so many of you seemed shocked.

    The real question is Are the American people going to let this outrageous ridiculous redderick work again.

    If people allow Mc Bush to get in the White House this country deserves everything it has coming to it.

    Which is the rich getting richer the poor becoming poorer and Oil still running through the veins of the people in charge.

    Come on People, How many of you own 12 cars and 7 houses????

    He only pick Palen so they can destroy Alaska with their drills, she did not have the power to do it just being the Governer, she needed the open door and he gave it to her. See how many cars and houses they gain if they win...

    Dont fall for it, Not this time, Not now!!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. Paula, Los Angeles CA

    Obama will have to endure some idiots who will not vote for him because of race... we knew that. However, that is one of the most wonderful factors in this election: the potential of moving forward on multiple fronts!

    Obama must win for the sake of America! I am very discouraged about our economic situation and the blatant disregard for the American people when up against the almighty dollar. Pretty funny that the American people will be forced to pay for Wall Street's missteps in this time of crisis, but in a time of prosperity, we do not see any of those profits handed down to us... SOCIALIZE LOSS AND PRIVATIZE PROFITS?!?!?! Not the American way....

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08!

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. noone

    i'm ashamed of my own race.......

    September 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Jesse from Berlin

    How stupid can one be?....

    September 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Yvonne

    Racists have a low IQ. Maybe if voters are required to take an IQ test then we can prevent stupid people from voting.

    September 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. D&D

    Yes, race is going to play a role, but I also think that American people are smarter than that; while some will think not voting for Obama because he's black, for some reasons, I strongly believe that most of them will make the right call by voting for him anyway!

    September 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Gov Palin, What Are Your Foreign Policy Credentials?

    THIS MAY BE TRUE, BUT WE ARE IN A VERY DIFFERENT PLACE DUE TO THIS ELECTION. I KNOW THERE ARE FELLOW AMERICANS WHO COULD BENEFIT FROM EXPLORING THE COUNTRY THEY SAY THEY "LOVE" (ONLY IF A CERTAIN GROUP RUNS IT), BUT THIS ELECTION YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT.

    I HAVE NEVER SEEN WHITE AMERICA RESPOND IN THIS WAY TOWARD A BLACK PERSON IN MY LIFE OUTSIDE OF A SPORTS HERO. IT IS SHOCKING, ENDEARING AND BRINGS ME TO TEARS.

    SOMETHING HAS ALREADY CHANGED. AS OBAMA SAID IN HIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH " THERE'S NO TURNING BACK"...

    NO MATTER THE OUTCOME WE HAVE BEEN FOREVER CHANGED.

    GO OBAMA

    September 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Florida Hockey Mom

    It's funny how Brandon and his little Demo Friends fell that throwing money at a problem fixes the problem. Barack doesn't have a money problem. His problem is he's a Jr. Sen. Pelosi, Clinton, Dodd and the established DNC upper crust will never let Barack do anything from his "Yes We Can" speeches. Barack is all show, no demo go!!

    September 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Go McCain!... go to Iraq and finish the battle, oh yea and take the economy with you, to war, hell we don't need it, you can be commander and take over where Bush will leave off, I don't think you'll be as great as Bush was, but your war story brings you close enough. So go join Palin's son and fight, we'll be here waiting on your victory. You've got my vote, forget the economy, forget those devasted by hurricane Ike, whatever you decide don't consider us. keep unemployment up, I'm getting comfortable with these unemployment checks, after this tax season and insurance payday, you can have my house as well, after they foreclose on it, add it to your collection, turn my 4 year old daughter's room into a, uh, I guess a jewelry room, or closet to house you car keys. I'm voting for you because your white, a war veteran, and highly educated in all areas, forget what people think of you. Your a hero in my eyes.

    I am Jude and I approve this message... (in the most sarcastic tone)

    September 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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