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. Candi

    If everyone who think race is important than issues, they will be suprise when McCain reneg on his promises to the people. People vote for the candidate that has been fighting for you since the primaries and have not let up. He is the one that has spoken the same true lines on how we don't need another 4 more years of George Bush. Remember McCain will only be in the White House for one year and then guest what Sarah Palin will be there with no brains and this country will be in a mess. This is not 7,000 people this is 50 states she will have to deal with and I actually don't think she is ready unless 1st DUDE is VP.

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

    To Bill's remarks above: Thus far, all blacks who have voted in a presidential final election have voted for and supported a white man. And, blacks vote 90% plus of the time for a Democrat anyway. You trying to twist things just show that you got issues with color too.

    September 22, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Spencer from VA

    Race will be a factor to old white voters. Voters between the ages of 18-40, race is not an issue. This is "OUR" election, for "OUR" future.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 22, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. susarp

    Here's what I can't tolerate any longer . Obama is half white so why do we Americans continue to call him BLACK! Race has no place in our country. We are all Americans no matter what color we are. I'm tired of the small minded people who think they are so much better than any one black man could ever be. I'm ready to leave this country for good. Sarah Palin is a cocky sarcastic politician who has probably sweet talked her way up the ladder.

    September 22, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. dyellon md

    When I hear that people who are suffering under this administration, and who like Obama say they can't see themselves voting for him anyway it blows my mind. As J from DC said, it is so sad to see people vote against their own best interests. These are the same people who will complain bitterly when McCAin wins and he gives the wealthiest 1% a tax break and they get nothing but " sorry, you're on your own". These same Republicans might even tell you that they are sorry they voted for McCain and next time they will vote for someone different irregardless of Party. The succcess of the Republican party these last two elections is based on lies and distortions meant to make people afraid of something new. They manage to convince people to VOTE AGAINST THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS.FOOL ME TWICE SAME ON ME!!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. luvamerica

    So sad that people are hung up over the color of your skin.

    September 22, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. McCryptKeeper/Cruella 08

    Rednecks could decide this election.....scary

    September 22, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Oahu September 22nd, 2008 2:21 pm ET

    Why doesn't anyone talk about how race affects the whites.

    Almost 90 percent of blacks vote for Obama and/or blacks, everytime. They don't vote for policy, they vote for color.
    -----------

    As has been said here and elsewhere, blacks vote 90% for DEMOCRATS every time; this 90% for Obama is nothing new.

    Overall, I think white people will be o.k.

    September 22, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Jim

    I am white and I am ashamed by people in this country. I will say right now that November 4th will be a very sad day for this country as an ugle side of America will shine through. I have little faith that the people in this country will actually vote with their minds. I am a big Obama supporter but will be schocked if we wins. There are so many racist, stupid people in this country, it makes me sick. Wake up!!! If you really care about this country, don't make your decisions based on race.

    September 22, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. The price to pay

    Obama inspired some real haters and filthy bigots and sexists with his rhetoric.

    He swapped the old life-long democrats for these NEW haters.

    Will it work or will he lose?

    But racism is not the reason for his demise. His dirty campaign tactics are the reason. He subverted the democratic process and the democrats swiftboated their own.

    September 22, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. ln

    People who agree with Obama's policies but will not vote for him because of the color of his skin are disguisting. Period. Racism should be an issue of the past... Get a clue, people.

    September 22, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. victor,nj

    Oahu September 22nd, 2008 2:21 pm ET

    Why doesn't anyone talk about how race affects the whites.

    Almost 90 percent of blacks vote for Obama and/or blacks, everytime. They don't vote for policy, they vote for color. No one calls this racism. In fact there is much more racism with the blacks than there is with whites, yet no one wants to address this.
    Perhaps Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton can address this.

    Please spare me the crap. If that was the case explain why blacks did not vote for Alan Keys. John Kerry also recieved 90% of black vote.

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

    correction, Sen Mccain blots out anything and this could very well cause a war

    September 22, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Independent Hoosier Voter

    I am soooo tired of this. Did John Kerry lose because of racism? Did Al Gore lose because of racism? Or, do the Democrats keep selecting ultra-liberal candidates who turn off many more voters than they attract? Add to the mix the fact that the current candidate lacks experience and, upon being elected to the Senate, stated he would not run in 2008 because "I'm a believer in knowing what you're doing when you apply for a job." (He doesn't believe he's qualified, but I should?). Further add the fact that the Democrats couldn't run a fair and decent primary–how can they be expected to actually run the country?

    And, finally, when am I going to see the polls that demonstrate how the ageism demonstrated by the Obama camp, his followers and the media have affected the Presidential race?

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

    I get tired about hearing about 'race'. We are ALL Americans..........white woman.

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

    BILL ,BILL ,BILL,

    BLACK PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS VOTED FOR A WHITE MAN BECAUSE THAT WAS THE ONLY OPTION..MY HUSBAND IS BLACK AND HE HAS ALWAYS VOTED, AND HE NEVER HESITATED TO DO SO ....THIS TIME AROUND WE HAVE A BLACK MAN, THAT IS THE BEST OPTION FOR AMERICAN..HE HAS A BRAIN...WELL EDUCATED...WHY NOT VOTE FOR HIM..SO ALL OF A SUDDEN BECAUSE WE CHOOSE NOT TO VOTE FOR A WHITE MAN BECAUSE WE DO NOT AGREE WITH HIS POLICIES, WE ARE RACIST.

    THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY THAT WILL NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA BECAUSE OF HIS RACE...YES, HE IS HALF WHITE AND HALF BLACK..BUT WHITE PEOPLE CHOOSE TO SEE ONLY A BLACK MAN. IT SADDENS ME TO THINK THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT JUDGE YOU BASED ON THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN.

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

    The funny thing is is that if Obama had been "white" he would probably have lost the primary election to Clinton because no democratic primary candidate has ever won 90% of the black vote. Only in the general election do the democrats whin 90% of the black vote. No one screamed racial prejudice than.

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. FAYE MOGHTADER

    WHETER MR OBAMA WINS OR NOT I AM VERY PROUD OF WHAT HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED IN SUCH A SHORT POLITICAL LIFE,A LOT MORE THAN MANY WHO HAVE BEEN THERE FOR THIRTY YEARS.I WILL VOTE FOR HIM I AM PROUD TO SUPPORT HIM,ALL YOU HAVE TO DO WAS TO LISTEN TO HIM ONCE,AND YOU KNOW THAT THIS MAN HAS A GREAT DEAL OF LEADERSHIP QUALITY IN HIM.FOR PEOPLE WHO SEE HIM AS A BLACK MAN I FELL PITY AND SORRY,THAT THEY ARE SO BLINDED BY THE COLOR OF THE SKIN.NOT THE CONTENT OF HIS CHARACTER.I AM A WOMEN.AND 54 TYRS OLD,AND HAVE TWO COLLEGE DEGREES.

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Sweetgreen

    Saying that Obama is receiving 90% of the black vote means absolutely nothing when you compare the fact that all DEMOCRATIC

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Cheryl Wilson

    I agree 100% with this poll. White people are very, very prejudice towards people of color. Most of them hide their prejudice. It is important for people of color to really observe and study white people so that one is aware of how they really think of people of color. This nation will never change. There will always be a segment of society that will hate.

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Nathan,

    What I find astounding about whites who won't vote for Obama because he's black is that he was probably raised just as white as they were. Obama was raised by the white side of his family in Kansas(what state is whiter than that), in the rural midwest. This isn't a guy who grew up in black culture or in an urban neighborhood which seems to scare a lot of white people. He grew as one of them learning the values they cherish. Which incidently are no different from the values most black people try to instill in their children. This is a guy who except for the tint of his skin has just as much in common wth them than anybody. They look at him now with his black wife and his beautiful black daughters and say that's a black man look at his family. Imagine what they would be saying if he had married a white woman. They wouldn't be saying anything because Obama wouldn't be in this position. This cancer called racism will destroy this nation one day. That day will be sooner if racism allows McBush and Sarah(I can see Russia) Palin tobe voted into office.

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Greg in Colorado

    Why is it that we believe every thing that the news media tells us. They have been lying forever about poll numbers and stories being covered, not only in politics but just stories in general. What questions are they asking? where are they asking them and to whom? Who's asking? What are the questions and were they persuasive or yes or no? Remember people 4 out of 5 dentists don't "really" approve Crest... it is just a gimmick.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. ChICkens coming home to roost

    Maybe the hateful vitriolic war that Obama waged against fellow democrats who voted for HRC in the primary is the reason for this.

    I doubt it is racism- but those you trash, bash, mock, demean, insult, jeer, dismiss MAY NOT vote for you in the end.

    Even if you are the half black democratic nominee.

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. American for Obama/Biden

    I'm a white 61 year old female voting for Obama/Biden and proud of it and proud of him.

    Why does McCain have 2 people for VP? I guess the same reason Alaska had 2 people for the Governor!

    America is doomed with McCain/Palin/and the Dude!

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. LJ

    Why does the media constantly make an issue of Obama's race? To me he is first and foremost an American man. In fairness, should the McCain's be tagged as white people or Palin a white woman and her husband and children as white people with enough Indian blood to qualify them all for free medical care for life?? The white/black issue is so redundant. Yes, there are people filled with hate for black people but I don't think there are enough of them to make a difference in anyone's life and who cares anyway, are their opinions and feelings more important than the majority of people who don't feel as they do? The media gives people who are prejudiced a thumbs up. Why do they hate black people anyway, the blacks were the slaves and mistreated, not the white people. Report on that why don't you!

    September 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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