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. Brandon

    Florida Hockey Mom, I just donated more $ to Obama's campaign thanks to your annoying post. :) Get a clue before you turn on the computer.

    September 22, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Peter, VA

    DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHO THROWS A DROWNING MAN A LIFE
    RAFT? Wake up America. The republicans are drowning us all.

    Democrats 08.

    September 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Stop The Spin

    I've gotta go at this 90% of black people are voting for Obama thing as justification that he's unfairly benefitting from his race.

    Senator Obama is the Democratic nominee folks .... and guess what percentage of African Americans voted for the white male Democrats in 2000 (Gore) or 2004 (Kerry) ? ... about 90% .... So he has no "advantage" that hasn't existed in the past.

    In retrospect, it seems those black voter made the smarter choice too!

    September 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. N.S of Huntsville, Al

    THIS IS THE PART OF AMERICA NO ONE CAN REALLY STAND. AN MCCAIN IS SO GLAD FOR THOSE 40% RACIST VOTES. HE CAN HAVE THEM. IF YOUR A RACIST THATS YOUR PROBLEM GET A LIFE. BUT STOP BLAMING BLACKS FOR EVERYTHING. BLACKS ARE THE MOST FORGIVING PEOPLE AND THE MOST OPPRESSED BUT WE KEEP MOVING STRONG. OBAMA CAN'T DWELL ON THAT BS HE HAS TO STAY FOCUSED AND KEEP FIGHTING FOR ALL PEOPLE LIKE HE HAS BEEN, DOING. AND MOST WHITE RACIST PEOPLE ARE THE POOR ONES THAT NEED OBAMAS HELP AND LOOKS LIKE HIS EDUCATIONAL PLAN. THE IGNORANT DUM REPUBLICAN PARTY DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THEN OIL, DRILLING, WAR AND GRED. SO JUST DON'T GO TO CHURCH ACTING LIKE YOU LOVE JESUS AND YOU CAN'T GET OVER SOMEONES SKIN COLOR. THAT STATEMENT IS A FACT CAN'T DISPUTE FACTS

    September 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Sandy

    Yeah, right...I bet you hate Affirmative Action too, right? Give me a break!

    September 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. peggy

    As a white, working woman over sixty, and from OHIO I will be very proud to cast my ballot for Obama. I look at a person's heart and soul and not their skin color. He is a good, christian man and he will make a great leader. I look forward to his inauguration in January – a wonderful moment in American history.

    September 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Hillary

    Independent but leaning
    Wake up did you not see the coverage in Ohio where the reporter asked a grouop of white men in a diner if the were voting for Obama and they said no they don't like black people and in that same poll 1/3 of democrats said they would not vote for Obama because he is black. So yes here we go again...there are still ignorant racist people in this world who would rather live in failing economy then vote for someone who wants to make a change for the better for all people. Not just the wealthy. Are you one of those people?

    September 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. race baiting works

    Obama's race is the MOST attractive thing about him for many voters.

    His credentials and resume are NON-existent.

    Obama is being propelled by the history-making potential of his half black ethnicity- nothing more.

    September 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Daniel

    What about all the people who voted for him BECAUSE he's black? If you want to talk racism at the voting booth, just look at the race divide in the primaries.

    September 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    DJ Los Angeles September 22nd, 2008 2:17 pm ET

    "…Obama is of mixed race — his mother was white, his father black — he is generally identified as black."

    Why does the media NEVER call Obama mixed race?
    ------

    Setting aside your contradiction of yourself, the reason he is called black is because America still subscribes to the ancient "one drop" rule. He is part black, so in America, that makes you black in most people's eyes.

    Along with that comes all the wonderful benefits and joys of being a minority here in the land of the sheep and the home of the Tased.

    September 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Americans are a JOKE to Foriegn Countries

    This is why America is in the condition that it's in, it is hated by other countries and the economy is down the tubes. This country is not the UNITED STATES because you will only show support for people who look like you. What really gats to me is the nerve of Hispanics thinking they are better than Blacks because some numb nut suggested that Hispanics came here seeking diplomacy and Blacks were bought here as slaves. The Hispanics stole their way into this country and they still are, the blacks were bought here against their will. Black people are proud of their heritage no matter how they came to this country. The Hispanics are afraid to vote against white politicians because they think they have the power to send them back to their countries but hwat they don't know is that the white politicians are the one who want to send them back. Also what makwes them think that we will ever have a Hispanic President if they don't support Barack a Hispanic candidate will never get the " black vote". They will soon find out that they are not wanted here anymore than blacks are. This country is so racist it's shameful and it's nothing to be proud of. States like Kentucky , W Virginia, Pennsylvania to name a few pride themselves on being racist but they are laughed at as being "stupid rednecks". If Barack loses this election Ameirca will be talked about from now until the end of time.

    September 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. newsnut

    If 99.9% of African Americans are voting for B.H.Obama, isn't that already proof that Race is the major factor in this Election? Or is this a trick question to insinuate that most Americans are bigots and don't like African Americans cause their Black? The Sly Dogs, B.H.O. Zombies, will distort, connive and shyster Americans with underhanded, We gonna get ours, mentality. A hard core group that only shames our forefathers, who died to set them free.

    September 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    This question should not have came up.verybody can see he a person of color. I'm surprise it took so long for this question to be ask. Race is a factor, But Sen Obama is more white than black he was born of white woman, not a black woman. His father by black because of the color of his skin he is generally identified as black. Some America will use the color of his for not voting for him. This is America Get out and vote Stick with the issue, vote Sen Obama/Biden you want CHANGE or the same old thing. GO Obama/Biden

    September 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. AA

    It is a REAL handicap for him among African Americans.

    i understand that they will ALL be voting for McCain this year- based on experience and qualifications.

    September 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Just a shame, Just a shame

    Just a shame that we as a society wouldn't want to vote the best person into the white house based on race. We would rather suffer, economically, socially, continue to kill our servicemen and women in an unjust war, have our status around the world fall even farther than it has already just because the person that could change this is Black.

    I would say unbelievable but I given our history I can't. I'm just say I'm ashamed for us in the world's eyes.

    September 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. USA in 08

    It is sad that at this point in our history, racism is still so rampant. Obama will win despite this and maybe he can actually cause some positive change during his term(s) that helps us to further elimnate racism.

    Obama or Canada in '08

    September 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. YOLA

    Obama has said that this is an improbable journey and that is an understatement. 19 months ago, NO ONE expected this Black dude to get through the primary much less to become the Democratic nominee. He has gotten where he is mainly because of White people; let us not underestimate America. Yes, there are people who will not support him and may even vote against him because he is Black, but many of those same people voted against him in the Primary. I have faith in the American voters, the majority will vote for their best interest and for the person they feel can help to heal us as a Nation and help to heal our global reputation.

    September 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. kobensi

    If any body thinks that racism is out of America, he she is wasting his time. I work a decent job and everyday i see racism between african americans v/s africans, whites v/s african americans, whites v/s asians, whites v/s muslims, african americans v/s asians, muslims v/s african americans. whites v/s hispanics, african americans v/s hispanics. The only group where i find less amount of racism is between african v/s hispanics, africans v/s muslims and hispanics v/s muslims. Asians, whties and africans americans are the most racial segment of race in America. These group of race practices the highest rate of racism in America.

    September 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. TheTruthHurts

    So is this playing the race card? Just asking because it's almost like you can't mention that America is a racialized society without being accused of something. This will heal someday, but it will be after a couple of generations die off.

    September 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. ednadavid

    It is unfortunate that some White Americans cannot see that in voting for Barack Obama – they vote an entire party in – white, black and everything else in between. I cannot believe that in the 21st century we are willing to suffer through another 4 years of grief, pain and hardship simply because we do not want to vote a man into the presidency due to his race. we would be willing to suffer at a personal level because of our attitudes toward race. When will be able to see the "bigger picture" and opt for the clearly better alternative – the Democratic Party.

    September 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. w.l. jones

    When we are over sea there is only one race and that an American. Why we cannot apply those same principle back home? Said enough.

    September 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. A. Little

    I dont buy it....I think that an ignorant person will make a judgement of such sorts. Does this say that 40% of the population of white people is ignorant. I am sorry CNN, i believe we are better than this in America.

    September 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Kerry in VA

    Racism will always be alive and well in this country, but yet we try to tell other countries how they should live. Seems hypocrital of to do that. I was always told to clean up your own house before you try to clean up someone else house. For those of you that do not feel like a black man can do the job look at what the white man has done to this country for last eight years. When are you all going to start to judge a man by his character and not the color of his skin? I guess it too much to ask for in this country.

    September 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Get it Straight

    The word is "biracial". That means of "two races". Maybe if we try to convice the bigots of thic country to consider the 50% white side,and finally to LOOK AT THE ISSUES AND NOT COLOR, he'll have a better shot at their vote!

    September 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Amy, NYC

    OOOOh now i know why McCain came up with this ad trying to paint Obama as a scary black man from Chicago. I see, anything that brings vote is good enough. (watch SNL if you don't see what I mean) Well...I hate to break this to you, but the people who are going to be voting for Obama in the general election are the same who have been voting in the primary, and who elected him. Obama is up in Iowa, 95% white.

    A vote for Obama is a vote for America. This is not about one man but about a whole nation.I believe in the American people.

    Let's unite and put our country back on track! Yes we Can!

    September 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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