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.

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Polls
soundoff (544 Responses)
  1. geecee827

    No surprise here. Obama would be way ahead in the polls if he weren't identified as black. He is so much more intelligent and thoughtful in his answers to questions posed to him, he is more sincere, doesn't pander, just tells the people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. He's by far the better candidate. If he and Biden lose, it's because of Obama's race, make no mistake about it.

    Obama/Biden ' 08/'12.

    September 22, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. D in Virginia

    What's new? America has been and will always be a racist nation. Yet somehow they believe they are the example the world is supposed to follow.

    The bright side of the story is that most claim not to let race affect their decisions. If Louisiana can have an Indian governor, there is hope.

    September 22, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. cheryl (RETIRED VETS FOR OBAMA)

    REMEMBER AMERICA, IF IT IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR OBAMA TO BE PRESIDENT, IT WILL BE, THERE WILL BE NOTHING THAT ANYONE CAN DO TO STOP IT. GOD BLESS AMERICA! BY THE WAY ARE YOU FINE AMERICANS PAYING ATTENTION TO RUSSIA, THEY HAVE A FLEET OF WARSHIPS HEADED TO VENEZUELA, IN MY OPINION THIS IS TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, REVIEW YOUR WORLD MAPS, IT IS TRUE THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING.

    September 22, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    I always felt that it would and its really a shame. African Americans have been voting for white candidates every since they were given to right to vote. I don't see why others would have a problem voting for an African American.

    September 22, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. Gerald in Georgia

    I am a black male who is voting for Obama because I don't want to lose my job and my house!! Maybe McCain and his friends can afford to lose a house or two but my wife and kids, we only have one! One house means one smart vote.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. A NATION OF WINERS

    THE BLACK COMMUNITY VOTES DEMOCRATIC

    A 100% OF THE TIME. HOW IS THAT NEWS ??

    I VOTE DEMOCRATIC A 100% OF THE TIME,

    I AM DEFINITELY NOT BLACK. AM I RACIST ?

    ONE THING SOME OF YOU FORGET IS THAT

    US WHITE FOLKS HAVE A SHARE OF THIS MAN.

    FIRST HE IS AN AMERICAN. THEN HE IS WHITE & BLACK.

    THEN TO MAKE IT ALL GOOD HE IS HONEST & SMART.

    LETS NOT BE STUPID. WE HAVE TRIED THAT FOR 8 YEARS

    AND IT HAS NOT WORKED WELL FOR US AT ALL.

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Florida for Obama

    Wouldn't this be ironic? That the only disqualification for Obama would be race – race again in America? American has notmatured yet? Upon all the thinhs America clains to have achieved race-wise, that the 2008 Presidential election may still be decided by the "Cokor of our skin"? What then has America learned from the famous MLK "I have a dream" speech. It would be a sad day in America that Barack Obama would lose an election because of the "color of his skin" and no longer by his – a black man's propensity and ability to lead!

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Perusing-Through

    DUHH!! WHY IS THIS A SURPRISE?!?!?!?

    When 20% of Hillary voters in the ("diverse") Democratic Primaries of Appalachian regions like Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Central-Western Pennsylvania, openly admit that Hillary was NOT their preference; but they could not see voting for a Black man – – – – – – then you would think the media pundits would have caught on back in March & April . . . Duhhhh!!!

    The media pundits (especially those pundits slanted towards the GOP), tried for so long to ignore the "big elephant" in the room. Now they have to acknowledge that racism, prejudices and ethnic biases still linger in the American culture and are actually playing a significant role in this historic election.

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Proud to be American

    Racial bias is what it is and there is really not much to be said about it... however, I think with the current situation we are in folks will let go of their bias ways and vote for change... I mean if they want four more years of the same then they will vote for McCain and the out come of America will be exactly what is deserved... when you don't have a job, house, a woman can't make a choice in regards to her body and when we start pledging allegiance to the United States of China... one will wish they voted on the issues.... I do have faith in American and hopeful that American's have enough sense to vote smartly...

    Obama & Biden 2008

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Trashing for votes

    If Obama had not attacked fellow democrats and derided them and belittled them- he would now have their support.

    Obama played dirty to win- he encouraged his devotees to hate HRC, her supporters, women and low income democrats.

    How silly that now he expects their vote- and if they don't vote for him, they are called racist.

    Obama divided the democratic party by age, gender, income, education and geography- not to mention by race- NOW HE PAYS THE PRICE FOR THAT VITRIOLIC STRATEGY.

    It got his installed as nominee- but not everyone will come back and vote for him JUST because he is a democratic nominee. Some will not vote for the candidate that disrespected them and trashed them.

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. Here's My Thoughts

    And another,

    Claire makes a good point! Obama is a democrat too. He's young, married to a black woman (takes some research to understand how this factors in too), and he's new.

    You have got to give it to him: He's pretty attractive to Black people, especially the ones I know.

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. Kellie NH

    "Truth" I can't wait for the debates either, it will be Kennedy/Nixon all over again, only better.

    Anyway..there is no need to worry. The surge in Afrcan American voters will do more than just cancel out the ignorant people who won't vote for Obama because he's black.

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Charlotte

    You have an incompetent candidate who is also Black, you bet it will play. It is a factor with some and you add the lack of experience and bingo, you have a loser.

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. newsnut

    Watch the Body language of Mr. McCain and B.H.Obama. Mr. McCain appears to to be asking a People for attention. Now look at B.H.Obama's body language. He looks like Adolf Hitler when he spoke to the Germans. Lashing his words out. A weapon at his side or sword would fit in to his appearance. This person is going to hurt somebody.

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. jwn in south carolina

    I am choosing the brainy guy over dumb and dumber. I don't care what color Mr. Obama is, he has the vote of all who hope and look for a better future for our country.

    This message is from a 70 year old white grandmother orginally from south Mississippi..................and by the way all of our family supports Mr. Obama.

    Something to think about......SINCE the primary elections SC has registered 196,000 new voters,,,,,,,,,mostly young......and for the most part they will not vote for the old wrinkly white man.

    All of you who can, work to get out the vote for Barack Obama! YOU can make a difference.

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Herbieboy

    Until people in our country come to the point that in GOD'S sight are all created equal we will continue to have devide. It doesn't metter if the color of a person'd skin is red, orange, bule, balck, or white everyone has red blood runing thru their veins. If we want to continue to have the problems we are facing then race should be your deciding factor, but if you want change and have inteligent thinking men in the white haouse then you will support Obama and Biden. If you want the same old thing that has been there for the last eight years – lies, secrecy, big oil, lack of cooperation, skirting the issues, and put themselves before the average person in this country then vote for McSame/ Pain-in and suffer fro the the next 4 years.

    September 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Edward

    Good point Claire, Vermont!

    September 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. Mike, FL

    I think for the most part we have moved past racism in the country. I'll vote against their pocket book just because of race.

    September 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. carol

    Yes, I agree this country is still stuck in that "white at all cost" regardless that this smart,intelligent young man could really move this country forward in the right direction.
    I am still very hopeful though that the younger generation who apparently have more sense will come out in droves in Nov to vote for Senator Obama.
    Why can't people be judged on their character and not by the colour of their skin......this country in in one hell of a mess and someone skins colour determines how you'll vote.....how very very sad.
    I am a 56 year old white lady who lives in Florida and I can think for myself and look at the issues which far outway any nonsensical colour issue.
    GO OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. This soccer mom can whip your hockey mom any day!!!

    Bill

    Blacks are not voting for McCain because he is a REPUBLICAN...we are use to voting for a white candidate. African Americans overwhelmingly support the democratic candiidate. If that candidate were Hillary Clinton, she would still have the majority of the black vote!!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. redhead from Toronto

    Sen. Barack Obama is speaking now on the economy in Wisconsin – please read what he has to say . Anyone who reads this speach and still has reservations about him must have ulterior (racist)motives for not voting for him. He is of mixed race with a white mother and grandmother but it should not matter to you what colour he is,vote for what is best for your Country. I cannot believe that the great USA wants more of the last 8 years. Haven't you suffered enough? What's that old saying? Ahhh- " A change is as good as a rest" Give it a try for God's sake, you have nothing else left to lose. BTW, did anyone see 60 mins. last night ? McCain said Sarah Palin is ABSOLUTELY "Ready to be PRESIDENT". I am still in shock,does he want the Presidency so much that he is willing to sell his soul for it?. God bless America and God bless you all.

    September 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. Haters for Obama

    A democrat who ran a primary war against fellow democrats now wonders why many life long democrats WILL NOT vote for him?

    Nothing to do with race. A lot to do with his dirty politics of hate and vitriol and mocking divisiveness.

    Intra-party hate is no way to win.

    September 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Texas

    It is a real shame for America and Americans that we even think on rejecting the best candidate that can get us out of the hole Bush put us because of the color of the skin.

    Shame will follow us globally for decades if we made the big mistake of rejecting the best person for the job because he is black.

    September 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Todd

    OMG, There are some Democrats and Liberal Independents that are racist??? Are you freakin' kidding me?? I thought it was just the "Old, White Repbulicans"!

    Hmmmm, Wonder what else Obama's camp has put out that's not quite 100% accurate!!

    September 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Indiana for McCain/Palin

    Are you kidding me??? A dream ticket would be Colin Powel & Condie Rice. Give me a break, folks. This is not racism, it is a question of ideals; less government, etc., etc. Please stop trying to make this about race!!

    McCain/Palin 2008 :)

    September 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22