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. Susan

    How sad is this. Grow up America, your lives of your families are at stake! OBAMA/Biden 08!

    September 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Michael, watching from Canada

    Its not surprising to the rest of the world.

    When he Republican party's racist ads played the rants of Obama's pastor prior to the North Carolina primaries earlier this year......

    When right-wing conservative radio hosts continue to make statements that subtly convey Obama incorrectly as a Muslim.....

    When newspapers and TV networks highlight election polls about race......


    September 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |

    Ohio, close your eyes and vote for a Black Man. who wants to help you.

    Barack Obama needs your vote in Florida.

    The Republicans WILL CHEAT TO WIN THIS RACE.

    Rove helped choose Palin!

    Florida, please talk to your elderly folks about who to vote for.
    They have no clue how bad it will get with MCCain Palin!!!!!

    NOW, Florida is already accepting absentee votes!!!!!

    CNN, is not doing justice for Obama. CNN is ALL FOR MCCAIN PALIN!!!

    September 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. No Game - Work the Refs

    If you don't have a game to bring, work the Refs. The McCain campaign has this down pat. They can't figure out why anyone would want to investigate their vice presidential candidate who is under an gag order from the campaign to prevent her from saying something that expose the the outrageously poor political decision the campaign made in selecting her. They can't figure out why anyone should call them out on their lies. They can't figure out why anyone should call them out on all the bluster that has defined their response to every critical event over the last two months. My Advice, if you want to be president, act presidential – act as though you care at least as much about America as you care about your own ego and stop this "Win at any Cost" mentality. As a country, we are lucky to have George Bush at the reigns with his steady hand during this time of crisis – imagine if it had been John McCain – Or worse, the Northern governor who will not blink when faced with an issue she knows something about.

    September 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. Rick

    Here we go.......they are setting up an excuse for the upcoming Obama loss in the typical democrat fashion. Mark my words, as soon as the polls open on election day the democrats will be whining about "election fraud" and "voter intimidation". You know, same story, different election.

    September 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Renee

    Some white Americans need to check thier mental status and start to think that Obama can'nt help that he is Black and know that Obama is the only one that can fix this Financial Crisis that the Bush Adminstration led this country into. Mccain/ Palin is not the ones that will fix this mess and if anyone think that Mccain/Palin will fix this mess is fooling thier selves.

    September 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Helene

    If people in this country, in the XXIth century, will not vote for someone because of the color of his/her skin, I feel deeply ashamed for them, and for this country. They deserve what they will get with McCain and Palin !

    September 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Rob

    Well, apparently the AP-Yahoo hack squad is back from Alaska, and, not having found anything, have concocted up this new excuse. They tried to say that Palin's newborn son is actual the daughter's. Then they try saying that Palin missused her office in the firing of some self-serving hack. Neither of these worked, so they decided to dip into the ever present item in every Democrat playbook: When in doubt, throw in the race card. And of course (as wonderfully displayed by these comments here) they know that there are people gullable enough to believe it.

    Of course they can't focus on the real issues because Obama doesn't have a plan or strategy other than to say "Change" or blame the Republicans.

    September 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. democrat in az

    of course its race. too many white people will NOT vote for a black man simply because he is black. but they will never admit it.

    September 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. McLoser

    It's not black vs. white.

    It's green vs. white.

    If you would rather lose your jobs, savings, retirement and future (much less your rights as a woman) than vote for a brilliant black man with a PLAN, then you get what you deserve.

    Its OK to vote for a black guy, really it is!

    September 22, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. so sorry

    I'm sure all those millions of democrats that Obama dismissed as irrelevant and unnecessary for him to win will just forgive and forget the insults and the hate.

    i'm sure they will all vote for the candidate who disrespected and derided them.

    How smart would that be? Really?

    And women... that goes for you too. Why vote for the misogynists who insulted you and called you filthy names? Who took your vote for granted so they spewed their hatred at you JUST to steal the nomination.

    September 22, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Worried in NYC

    United We Stand. Divided We Fall. Lets come together for the sake of our country. Before its too late.

    September 22, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Ms Gunn

    I listened on the news, and I heard that the K K K was putting aside their differences and voting for Obama! WOW! that is a change, and I want to know CNN, where are you getting this infomation from? I knew a slew of caucasians that said that they were voting for Obama

    September 22, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. truth please

    So many people are saying that the poll is a joke. I say go to look under archives and click on Sunday 2-3 a.m. and listen. There was an elderly woman named Lorraine that will make you want to puke. She starts off by saying she is not a racist then what comes out of her mouth later made me sit up in my bed and say, my God.

    By the way she considered herself the spokeswoman for white people that were afraid to say what they really feel.

    September 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Kyle

    This is not new news. If Obama were not black he would not have received more than 90% of the black votes during the primary. If race and gender had not been an issue woulld he have received 90% of all votes? It is true that Democrats do receive 90% of the black votes during the general election, but no democratic primary candidate has received such a high percentage during a primary. How many people view Obama as white instead of black, even though he is equally both?

    September 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |

    All I can say is this "wHITE PEOPLE" ya get what you ask for!!!!
    I know cnn won't post this!!!!
    Don't be talking angilrly two years from now on why I lost my house or why all my children are in WARS, MY business collapsed, or why gas is $7.00 a gallon, or why I can't afford heALTHCARE, OR REVERSING roe v. wADE or foreighn countries have better education and are smarter then us COUNTRY FOLKS, or WE CAN'T COMPETE IN THE GLOBAL MARKET, OR ALL OUR JOBS ARE BEING OUTSOURCED, OR WE FINALLY BE IN A DEPRESSION BECAUSE OF ALL THE BAILOUTS< OR WHY BIG OIL CORPORATIONS AND CEO'S CONTINUE TO GET RICH or RUSSIA, CHINA, INDIA, AND IRAN ARE LOOKING AT US WITH STUPIDITY!!!! ETC...ETC..... SO go on being trapped in hatred, bigotry, and down right stupidity!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. obama party,not democrat party

    CNN your poll of polls are laughable, 90% of your bloggers/viewers are pro-Obama, who could ever believe anything cnn puts out,

    September 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. guy

    "partly negative view toward blacks"
    A nice way of saying RACIST.

    September 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. prisoner of bore

    Race is only a concern for old America, young America doesn't care. This election is more about the future of this country and not the divisive factors that created it.

    September 22, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Ms Gunn


    acoording to the news..Mccain started to play the race card first! It is called, when you are being beat...spin the topic that everybody needs to hear, and bring up news without substance! PUMA DOWN

    September 22, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. PA Voter

    This is OLD news to people of color. We know the world in which we live and deal with it while trying to live the best we can, raise our families, work hard and try to help someone else along the way.....just like most others in America, right. So, regardless of color, race, creed or gender we need to do what's best for our families.

    Vote Obama-Biden

    September 22, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Charles Shaw Liverpool, NY

    Come on folks, both of the major parties are using this as a smoke screen so we do not see the real bias going in our Free country. Folks this is all about the haves and the have nots. The have nots want what the haves have, and the haves want to control the power so to control everyone else's lives to the point of complete socialism. Neither of the two major parties are looking at making the working citizens life better. neither has any plans of cutting spending, neither wants us the voter to go to the polls this fall, they will say, do anything to get elected, and fight each other, with us the people as nothing more than collaterial damge.

    September 22, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Moderate and Balanced

    CNN is no balanced by any stretch of the imagination. My nephew worked at CNN as a producer and he left because he could not stand the liberal bias there. They have MEETINGS on how to lean left and scewer the Republicans. He took a job that was half his regular pay rather than work for a news network that lied to the people.

    Now it's about race. If we don't vote for Obama we're racist. The sad part is...the Democrats really honestly believe that will get people out to vote Democrat.

    The liberals are liars and they will never get it that the American people can see through it.

    September 22, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Truth be told

    Blame the disrespectful and vitriolic campaign that Obama waged against fellow democrats for this damage and division.

    Why did he attack HRC and her supporters? Why all the filthy vulgar sexual putdowns and insults? Why the race baiting?

    That is the reason he lost support among democrats.

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

    Of course, race is a deciding factor. I said long ago Obama would not win; he'd never get past that barrier.

    African Americans see Republicans as the party of the rich, that's why they always overwhelmingly vote Democratic. How many rich people vote Democratic? Not many, or as one said on tv the other day, why would we not want to keep what we have?

    McCain said to his almost all white audience today that he'd lower business taxes and helping immigrants get temporary work, not one word about helping the middle/lower income people, yet everybody cheered. I don't get it.

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