September 22nd, 2008
02:00 PM ET
10 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. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    I was raised in the deep south and I have witnessed more than my fair share of racism. I do ,however, feel that the pool of close-minded fools is shrinking and racism is SLOWLY fading. When people realize that the color of one's skin is not the measure of a man, our country will once again be valued as a world leader.

    September 22, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Faith in Obama

    Shame on you Americans! Our deficit is in the BILLIONS and you would rather vote for another Republican! Ignorance will not get you anywhere....Wise up PEOPLE!

    Obama/Biden 08.

    September 22, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. TruthBeTold

    Your all braindead....Theres way more blacks that are voting for Obama because he is black than there are whites who wont vote for him cuz hes black....and to all you people who say blacks vote democrat....they have no choice but to pick a white candidate when a race is between two whites...and democrats support welfare which many blacks live on....i swear ppl cmon...use your heads!!!

    September 22, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. TerryDoRight

    Race will play a big part in the general election!

    Gee, could it be because Obama does not stop playing the race card?

    He is playing the race card, for those guilty white liberals who think they owe A/A some sort of restitution. That is their problem not the rest of Americans.

    September 22, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. I know How It Is

    To say he played the race card is crazy. Bill started it SC and HRC highlighted it in Pa. Its kind of funny. Whenever a black person responds to a potentially racial remark or act they are branded for reverse racism or "playing the race card". I really thought that the country was begining to put this issue to bed for good. I'm not just saying this because I want people to vote one way. I think voting for or againtst someone because of race is stupid. I'm just saying I know how it feels to do all the right things in trying to acheive the American Dream and still be looked down on because your're black and when you comment on something you see or hear or give your opinion from a black person's point of view you're are "branded".

    One more thing for all of the Hillary voters thats voting for McCain so they can vote for her in 2012. What happens if she doesn't run in 2012? Just something to think about. Don't vote for you, vote for your children and gradchildren.

    A man can dare to hope right.

    September 22, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Florida Voter

    Illegal Aliens will make up for the difference.

    And McCain is more for them than Obama....

    September 22, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Maureen / Calif.

    There will always be losers that judge people based on their race, religion, or gender. But obviously there are enough good people in America that voted to nominate Obama for President. Obama is leading this race. And the polls that determine this do not include millions of young and minority followers who do not have land line phones, only cell phones. Maybe all of the Archie Bunker types will move out of the country when Obama is elected. We can only hope. Our country would be a much better place.

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. A house divided

    Obama gambled and incited intra-party division and vitriol.

    He labeled HRC a racist.

    He insulted, mocked and jeered fellow democrats.

    The self-proclaimed uniter inspired division and vitriol in his followers.

    IT IS THE INTRA-PARTY VITRIOL that turned democrats OFF to Obama.

    Obama has only himself to blame for playing the race-card and dividing the party for his personal gain.

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. ben

    I just sent in my 2nd contribution this month to the Obama Campaign.
    Wasn't a real large amount, but what I could afford in these tough times. I truly hope there are more voters who will put America and its future first when voting and not fall victim to this race stuff.
    OBAMA/BIDEN for 08.

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. janet, ohio

    Let's make a deal: I will accept the fact that blacks are voting for Obama based on his ideas, if you will accept the fact that I am voting for Palin based on her ideas. Okay?

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Jerry Ohio

    My friends live in London and they tell me if Obama loses the election the World going to look at America like a racism country to live in and they are telling the true because this country is racism and I hope people dont look at Obama becuase of his skin color look at him because he can bring changes to our country let show my friends and the world that America is not a racism country to live in go out and vote for Obama

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. (zero)bama

    Race is a cop out. Period.

    Race has nothing to do with my refusal to vote for Obama. i won't vote for Obama for the same reason I wouldn't have voted for Stalin, Lenin or Marx. A socialist has no purpose running this country.

    Then again, with the lovely tax-payer-funded bailouts to cover government ignorance and corporate stupidity, what the hell am I talking about? We're already a socialist nation.

    Washington bureaucrats (Dem and Repub), if this bailout goes through, get ready to be met at the castle gates by a horde of angry torch- and pitchfork-wielding tax-payers, looking to kill the beast and its creator.

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. Paris

    What about all the Black votes that Obama is secured to get.

    When discussing the race issue you need to discuss both end of the race and not only one.

    We can also look at it this way, 98% of blacks are not voting for John McCain because he is white and running against a black candidate.

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Here's My Thoughts

    He is also WINNING because of race. Ask many blacks why they are voting for him, and they will give you some hap-hazard comment about him "making the economy better," but they will not be able to give you his stance on issues.

    Yet, to a certain extent I can understand why African Americans are voting for him because he is black and it is justified; however, there is no justification in not voting for him because he is black.

    Unfortunately, to explain my position takes an entire research paper, which one can not post on CNN.

    So here's the thesis: America needs to be revamped mentally regarding race.

    May God bless and have mercy on all of you!

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. This soccer mom can whip your hockey mom any day!!!

    Thank you for pointing out the obvious. If this is news to anyone, then they obviously did not grow up in this racially charged and divided country!!!! Some how...someone will find a way to say that this is put out by Obama's campaign, and he is playing the race card! I would dare to say the percentages are even higher. Racial, and ethnic ignorance is STILL reigning supreme all over this country!!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Eric-29-m-PA

    I'm sure some will use race to vote against Obama while others will use it to vote for him. I'm white, a Democrat and I'm voting for McCain not because of his race, but because of the way the primaries were run, his links to shady characters and his lack of experience.

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. Pat F

    This is a non-story.

    I don't believe for one minute anyone who says that they agree with everything Obama says but would not vote for him because he's Black. Such a person would NEVER have voted for a white person with the same extreme liberal ideas.

    The break is along ideological lines – not race lines. Don't believe the hype.

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Say It Loud ....

    There is no such thing as "bi-racial" to a bigot.

    You see, in American, an ounce of black blood made you black ... it made you subject to being treated differently ... poorly ... as compared to the white majority.

    Those half-white children of the black woman fathered by the slave master rapist were denied the right to read, write, go to school, get bank loans, form businesses or succeed in capitalistic American just like their 100% black relatives picking cotton in the fields. America, which is money driven, is still dealing with the impacts on those people who were artificially held down by a system that lauded "white priveledge."

    Now that someone with black blood in them (Senator Obama) has out manuevered the systemic racial hurdles in our society, and is about to ascend to the Presidency, should his "blackness" now be diminished ?? No, it should not.

    Heck, my great grandfather was white and I'm black and proud of it. I'm a senior executive in dorporate america with an ivy league education. I will not dessert my blackness just because I am successful ... neither will Barack.

    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. sabdra

    I am African American. Be encouraged! It shows great progress in race relations for him to even be nominated. He is the first AFRICAN-AMERICAN who will become president and will do a great job during his TWO terms. Thereafter, race will not be such a significant factor, because the country will know the blacks can handle the job as well as whites. HE WILL WIN THE ELECTON.


    September 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. rodlang

    Apparently, some white democrats won't vote for Obama because he's of mixed racial heritage. So, some democrats are racist. Also, the liberal MSM/Obama campaign are playing the race card (even though Obama said he wouldn't to there).

    September 22, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Rebecca

    When all else fails, race bait. Everytime the democrats pull ahead in
    the polls, republicans with the help of the media always try to appeal
    to America's least common denominator, racism. I would be willing to
    bet that just like the primaries, people of ALL races won't be voting race, but to get the republicans out. They have done damaged to all of us.

    Dems 08

    September 22, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Mike G

    There is only 1 color that matters in this election. GREEN!! Personally, I'm extremely racist and biased when it comes to that color. Once everyone makes that issue the primary 1 as it should be, then everything will be easy.
    Some of us may need to ask oursleves these questions in november: If you have more to say about the person that you don't plan on voting for then why waste time going to the polls? Can you look your children in the eyes and tell them that you didn't vote for someone because of their race???

    September 22, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. ted

    This is the country so many of us have died for.. ashame. and the hole world takes polls and they chose O>B> 70% to McCain. how come America cant get it right. our time is coming if we screw this one up. You get what u deserve

    September 22, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Doris,Memphis, TN

    Obama and Biden are by far the superior candidates. I feel that Americans are going to get this election right, this time.

    September 22, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Edward

    Weak argument Bill!!!!!! Blacks have had no choice but to vote for a white candidtate until now!

    September 22, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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