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. D. A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    I work for civil service and I want Obama/Biden in my chain of command. Do I want McCain/Palin in my chain of command? HELL NO!!

    September 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Willcnnapprovethis?

    Independent but Leaning:

    Pay Attention Genius!

    they are talking about Morons who won't vote for Obama soley because of his race.

    Nobody from the Obama's campaign ever suggested that you're a racist for not voting for Obama

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

    This man is not black. How many times do you have to hear this.
    This man is not black. His mother is white, his father is black.
    His grandparents who raised him are white. Were in the world does
    everyone get the idea this man is black. He can't claim to be an
    African American is less he is a black man. Why are all of you calling
    Senator Obama black when in fact he is not. How come the black
    community stands behind him as a black man. The only thing that
    makes him look that way is he picked up his fathers skin pigmentation.
    If he where to have picked up his mothers , he would not even be
    close to where he is today. So the first black man to be nominated for President is out . No the first black man making history for the nomination is out. Don't compare him to Martin Luther King .
    Obama is not black. Was Martin Luther King half white and black?
    Yes this is race based on race. And Obama has NO race. He is mixed. Hopefully I have made my point. Wake up people. Please.

    September 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Karla

    If people just look at our country as it is today, they should be smart enough to vote for the better man (OBAMA), race should not be an issue. McCain has NO CLUE what its like to work for a living, he'll never need Solcial Security, he IS the elite that most of us will never know. He says Obama is going to raise taxes....his feeble mind can't distinguish the truth from his own lies.
    VOTE for the best candidate, don't be a republican robot.
    Go Obama-Biden

    September 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. 12 HOUSES to 0

    I WANT BARACK OBAMA TO WAKE UP GREEN

    ONE OF THESE DAYS & I WILL VOTE FOR HIM.

    GIVE US A BREAK !!!! WE ARE DESPERATE !!!

    September 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Alton

    As a Democrat, I am ashamed to say that 17% of our party will not vote for Obama because he is black. Most of these people are the elderly in our party that grew up in a racist America.

    As for the Republicans, nothing is more threatening to them, especially in the south, than an intelligent Democrat or black man and Obama is both.

    September 22, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Outsider

    So US Still thinks it can tell the world what is right and what is not? This guy is both Black and White, he has been raised by White and married to Black. It is sad how people dont recognize Truth even when it is all black and white.

    September 22, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Tony

    How sad that so many people are still so racist and unable to move forward.

    Those not voting for Obama because he looks more black than white know who they are. Often they are the ones who shout the loudest that they are NOT racist. They may say tehy are voting for Obama, but know when they pull that curtain closed, that their racism and hate is more powerful than the best interests of their families, children and their futures.

    America continually takes giant leaps backwards while at the same time talking about how progressive they are. SICK!

    September 22, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. drone

    Of course its a Race is a factor.... Wether you wont to admit it or not, most whites hold a negative perception about blacks, period... And if you have to prep you comment with, im not voting for Obama because of his ideas and not because of his race, FACE iT your a bigot!! Just admit, and people will respect you alot more, instead of being a Lyier!

    September 22, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. Phantom of the Oprah

    Why would the millions of democrats who Obama hated on and trashed, mocked and demeaned, ridiculed and jeered NOW vote for him?

    Obama should have played nice and respected the base. He announced he no longer needed the base- he was bringing in many new democrats to replace the base he openly despised.

    The NEW democrats are vitriolic bigoted sexists who do not believe in the democratic process.

    Democrats- the OLD democrats- will not permit this highjacking of the democratic process.

    That is the truth. Race matters not. Hate and division is the reason Obama lost democrats.

    September 22, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Perusing-Through

    .
    RACIAL PREJUDICES?? WHY IS THIS A SURPRISE?!?!?!? DUHH!!

    When 20% of Hillary voters in the ("diverse") Democratic Primaries of Appalachian regions like Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Central-Western Pennsylvania, openly admitted to ‘Exit Pollers’ (aka strangers) 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 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Obama/Biden 100%

    Only if you are an African-American or Black person, can you fully understand the real sting of prejudiced actions. It's the bible-quoting, bible-toting , bible-thumping "christians" who have the nastiest attitudes against us.

    I suggest they get over it and do something to uplift themselves so they won't feel the need to believe they are superior.

    My family and I are strong Obama supporters, Democratic supporters, and have been for many years. The fact the Obama happens to be African-American is just that....a fact.

    For those who will not vote for him because of race, God bless them.
    For the rest of us, we can't wait to cast our votes on November 4th.

    September 22, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Reality

    These insecure white people need to get used to the idea that we're all created equal. One race is not above the other. We're all human. Base this election on intelligence, integrity and who will bring this world together to over come all of the serious issues going on in the world today

    OBAMA / BIDEN 2008

    September 22, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. wicth

    It was wrong than and it's wrong now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have hope that my grandchildren will grow up and know that skin color should never play a part anymore. But right now it still does.

    September 22, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Color Still Matters

    Yeah, like all of the Hillary supporters who are now supporting McCain. Most of these folks definately got issues with color, because McCain is not close to Hillary on the issues.

    September 22, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Reese'-Rich VA

    FINALLY THE TRUTH IS OUT! It is so sad that this is an issue. I hope all the people that vote for Mccain are RICH making over 5 million a year, because he wll take care of you. To all the Americans making less than 250,00/yr WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE, JUICE OR WHATEVER. Look at the facts and issues and VOTE. I am tired of what this country has BECOME.

    September 22, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Division not racism

    Too bad all those ignorant, moronic, old white women and redneck poor white guy democrats who Obama trashed and mocked, ridiculed and demeaned, derided and insulted... will not all just come back now and vote for the nice democratic half black installed nominee.

    September 22, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Mike, Raleigh

    I would say 99.9% of African Americans are voting for Barack Hussein Obama African American candidate. Only 40% of whites may vote for John S McCain white candidate. Who is recist?

    September 22, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. TexRN

    In this day and time, the topic of discuss is so very sad. Everyone wants to quote Martin Luther King's "not the color of their skin, but content of their character" as Americans and take great pride in this, as they should. Then turn around and NOT vote for a person because of the color of thier skin!! Shame on us, shame on America.
    America is hurting and this is just the beginning. People not only can't pay their mortgage, they are having a hard time feeding their family, paying utilities, juggling monthly to keep their head above water and our government wants to place 700 billion on their backs to bail out people who have plondered the society.
    John McCain is a part of this system, no matter how much he tries to distance himself from his party. He is the Republican party candidate.
    I work with people everyday, having a hard time purchasing their medication, even with Medicare Part D. Not able to buy the appropriate food for their disease process, turning off air conditioning to conserve energy.
    Please remember, that doing the same expecting a different outcome is insane.
    ARE YOU BETTER OFF TODAY THAT YOU WERE 8 YEARS AGO? NO! You have an opportunity to be proactive.

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    September 22, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Francheska

    If some people chose to vote for PalinCain based on the fact that Obama is African-American, then that is fine and they should not complain when we get the same goverment we have gotten for the past eight years. I don't care if the person has one eye, is green and walks on his hands...if that person can make real changes in my life, then he or she has my vote.

    September 22, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Bridgette-PA

    CNN, STOP CALLING BARACK "BLACK"! HE IS OF A MIXED-RACE. WHITE AND BLACK. I AM SICK OF THIS CRAP!

    OBAMA/BIDEN -08!

    September 22, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. ATLian

    I'm not voting for McCain because he is a REPUBLICAN!

    September 22, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Heidi

    That is absolutely the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. You people that are racial.....GET OVER IT!! This man (regardless of his skin color) is the best thing that could possibly happen to this country. In case you are not paying attention, we are in a lot of trouble. We don't need four more years of Bush's leadership, which is exactly what we will get with McCain. I do agree that McCain used to be a "maverick". But the simple truth is-he's not anymore. He's too old and he can't take our country anywhere but backwards. Please think about the things that really matter when you are voting for a president, and if you have to consider race, remember Obama's mother was caucasian and she raised him.

    September 22, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  24. Charlotte

    Oh, love the half-black status, as if full black is bad.

    September 22, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  25. LS

    Can't say black people are not voting for McCain because he is white. Black people are not voting for McCain because McCain is an idiot, not because he is white.

    I am white, and there is no way I would vote for a person like McCain.

    September 22, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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