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. Shari, NY

    Pardon me for straying a bit but this is an answer to “what next” who wonders why Sen. Obama is withholding his revelation of a more in depth economic plan: 1) As the scrambling still unfolds he has to tread with caution; 2) if it sounds good, guess what – Bonnie and Clyde will STEAL the plan. Trust me!

    September 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. cmc

    typical, your pocketbooks, gas tanks, etc. are empty and you can't vote for yourselves and your future because fo "color" . Are we in 2008 or 1950"s. THis country is so screwed up, and the race card is being played.!!!!!!!!!!!! Ridculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Damain Daniels

    It is very true that race is diffently going to ba a factor in this election and one of the only ways that we are going to ba able to avoid what is going to happen on election day. THERE ARE GOING TO BE PEOPLE WHO VOTE ONLY ON RACE AND THER ARE GOING TO BE THOSE WHO VOTE BECAUSE OF PRIDE IN RACE. NOV.4 IS GOINT TO BE A BIGHT WHERE HARLY ANYONE SLEEPS

    September 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. jos-bam

    We already that.If Obama wasn,t white the race wouldn't be tight...Many people do not care about the issue.they just don,t like Obama because he is black.....So sad for this country !!! America wake up...

    September 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. sara, az

    For far too long the Republican pundits have said (with barely disguised glee) - but WHY is the race so close???

    Even my kids and husband have asked, why is this race so close? (all of us are post-racism white Democrats).

    and each time, the answer is the same: racism.

    So here's the fix to those of you who can't seem to vote for Obama because of his race: vote for his white half and forget about skin color for God's sake. Why would you rather have someone with obvious cognitive disorders in the White House???

    September 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. skeptical white guy.

    Now this is an issue? 18 million plus Americans didn't think so earlier this year. Or are they ALL colorblind. See Dr. King's "I have a dream " speech. Being black is simply an excuse for why you didn't want to vote for Obama. If you are really scared of his skin tone and you don't want to vote for McCain, simply vote for Ralph Nader or Bob Barr. Only in the South... yeah we are probably to blame for climate change, locusts, and hurricanes too.

    September 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. LA Hispanic Conservative Female

    I wish people would stop throwing around the obvious, who really cares about the color, age or gender of the candidate's? It is what it is, and the more you focus on itm the more it BECOMES an issue. What matters is the ideals, ethics, character and past experience of the person tryiny to get the job. There will be those folks who will embrace someone only because they are or they are not like them – so what? Let them do what they want (we live in a free country). If that makes them feel good, so be it.... I wish Obama would stop his insecure comments about his funny name and that her doesn't look like anyone on our dollar bils etc... it has to begin with him (period).

    September 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. LBowie

    Something the majority of minorities was already aware of. The big fat elephant with lipstick no one wants to address. How can society of today base their choices on race, even if it goes against what they are fighting for. Jeez this ticks me off...

    September 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. DJ Los Angeles

    Sure there are a small % of bigots that vote Democrat but the ovewhelming majority vote Republican. Republicans I know admit and concede that. I disagree with impact race plays in this election as a result.

    September 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Marilyn

    CNN aren't these polls conducted on registered voters, which doesn't include all new registrants? I think this should be clarified and mentioned as to who was polled.

    This race thing is a ploy and seems very republican. Just how many Americans if you really think about it are not, bi-racial or multi-racial, this is a non-issue!

    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. OBAMA 2008

    Of course race will play a factor!! In stead on looking at the facts and what he stands for people are looking at the color of his skin! It is everyday life to those who are a minority and deal with it in their everyday lives. Its just good to see that it is starting to come to the light for others. But I think it is and Obama has proven this a fact.


    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. SAB

    Racism is the cancer that will cause the demise of this country. If people are that sick to vote color versus the issues than we get just what we deserve. No good can possibly come out of it when people vote based on color.

    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Sad so very sad

    What do you want from people who voted twice for Bush and love a Palin who puts women back 40 years. If America blows it by voting McCain then they deserve everything they get.. the clock is ticking.. stupid is as stupid does..

    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Scott NYC Independent

    Sadly some would follow McCain to the gates of hell (where Bin Laden isn't) instead of Obama to stablity, global respect and financial security. They would doom a nation because of the color of a man's skin. We may all suffer for the prejudice of some. God help us.

    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Tom

    This is sad. I keep waiting for all the bigots to die off, but seems like there's a new one born every minute. We can thank the proud-to-be-stupid crowd for that.

    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Grandma for O

    CNN please post for once:

    The 800lb elephant in the room. I'm so tired of people including the CNN anchors and anlysts who keeping bringing up the question, "Why isn't Barack farther ahead?".

    Take a little quess. When you have 40% of the people who hold somewhat of a negative view on African Americans and when over 30% have said race plays a part in their decision on who to elect, we all know why Barack isn't 15 points ahead right now.

    Yeah right – there is no such thing as reverse racism, there is only racism – how about educating yourself.

    Obama didn't play any race card. I'm tired of people attributing everything ANY black person said to him. Guess what he doesn't know every black person because he's black.

    Once again, I suggest you get educated.

    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. BHO: Ignorance is Bliss

    Making race a issue cnn, is going to detour your cause... it wont get BHO elected... you will actually piss people off.

    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Tired

    It's sad that my daughter will have to hear one day that she can not attend a school or be a memeber of a social group because she is black....... what exactly do these racists voters and non voters think is going to happen when he becomes president.....maybe he will be fair to all americans......uh

    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Freedom Lovin Patriot

    SAD TO SAY but that's the depth of some people's intellegence.

    SOMEONE ACTUALLY SAID TO ME I want a president with an "American" sounding name– what I would do to erase that memory (what I would do to erase that person)

    September 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. brenda

    September 22nd, 2008 2:14 pm ET

    So sad… to think some people are actually still so ignorant they wouldn't vote for someone based on race.
    Even sadder is the fact that so many would vote for someone based on race.

    September 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Not Even Close

    Obama is head and shoulders better than McCain as a candidate for the Presidency.

    September 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    It is sad to see, but sadder to know it is true, and that Senator Obama must know the same, despite his honorable and hopeful response to the "race question" in the 60 Minutes interview, as is evidenced by Obama closing his campaign offices in North Dakota, when it is clear he will not win there, in part because it is a Republican state, but in part, I am sure, because of race issues. But what do you expect from a state where there are more livestock than people...oh well, as has been said, we've come a long way....but....
    I still believe though, that 5 weeks from tomorrow, we will elect Sens. Obama and Biden to their rightful seats in the White House in DC.

    p.s. to McCain Bill1991 September 22nd, 2008 2:16 pm ET

    you wrote: "....i hope for the sake of the people who feel that way that Jesus does not come back as a Black man, what would you do then?"

    my note: ...remember, Jesus was JEWISH, born in the middle east, in ISRAEL, so he was already a brother of some color the first time around....

    September 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. PS from Tennessee

    Yes, there are still bigots and racists in America, but who has been running this Country for 200 years – WHITE MEN!

    I am white and have supported Obama since I saw him speak at the 2004 Democratic Convention. I hoped he would run for President in my lifetime. This year will be the most important vote that I have cast in my lifetime.

    Obama 08

    September 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. FreeNLovIt

    For National Security purpose, we need to move this country out of an oil-based economy.

    If Gore was elected in 2000, we would have been so far out and beat all foreigners. We would have all HAVE instant internet infrastructures, moving at the speed of light. We would have had cars, running less on oil..

    Choose your leaders wisely... as stated in the Bible, with a wise leader, we benefit, with a foolish leader, we all suffer.

    September 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Hillary & Barack supporter

    TO: YEAH, RIGHT, get a life and move on or leave the USA with that bitter attitude of yours.

    September 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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