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. BOBBY K. FROM BIRMINGHAM, AL.

    Thanks CNN for not posting my comments!!!!!!!
    I hope CNN realize that everybody has an opininion!!!!!
    I donn't care if OBAMA IS OF MIXED CULTURE!!!!
    I want to be able to come to work, have a home, and extra money in my pocket to survive!!! I have voted DEMOCRACT since 1992!!!!!
    I REMEMBER the 90's and how things were better then the 2000's!!!
    I know that race plays a factor in thuis election!!! You see this is what change is all about!!! Let someone of another color get a chance to clean up this 8 year old mess we are in!!!!!
    People quit holding on to the past and so called manifest destination!!! The mighty either adapts or falls holding on to surperiority complex!!!!!!
    Let's see if CNN post this?
    I've seen worst comments then mines

    September 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Stop The Spin

    Obama will need the younger voters ... those under 45 ... to come out in unprecidented numbers to overcome the ingrained prejudices of SOME of the older generation.

    Fortunately, I believe the polls are undercounting that segment of the electorate due to the level of cell phones as their primary phone number among younger people.

    If we can purge America's racist past, there are brighter days ahead for this great country of ours.

    September 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Larry, Ft. Lauderdale

    If one-third of the population votes against Senator Obama because of
    race, I take comfort in knowing that two-thirds of the the rest of us
    are behind him 100%. Let's send the republicans packing.

    Democrats 2008.

    September 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. The Republicans are comedic GOLD!

    And even with all the prejudice he is ahead of McSame.
    Florida Hockey Mom disgusts me with her “our boy” comment.

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. inuk of the north

    Obama will lose because he is the new Jimmy Carter.

    And we all remember how good that was, as if.

    He will lose because no one plays more games with taxes than Obama and Pelosi and Reid.

    This bailout for billionaires(!!!!) cost each American $3300. So much for the $600 stimulus cheques! I get $600 and they get a TRILLION dollars!!!

    And now Pelosi, Reid and Obama and Biden want another stimulus bill? I've had all the stimulus I can handle, because I know it will have to get paid back in taxes, taxes and more taxes.

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Stacy in So Cal

    Does the color of a mans' skin really matter? Come on America wake up! Smart Americans have had enough of the Republican philosophy, it's time we elect someone with the intelligence to back up the education they received in college. Just because you are educated and experienced, doesn't mean you are intelligent. The world is full of educated derelicts; take for example the Bush administration.

    Obama/Biden 08!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. jim, kansas city MO

    First of all to get this out of the way, I was engaged to a black woman from Africa, just so I am not called racist, she moved for school to East Coast I stayed in Mid-West and long distance did not work.

    Now we have to be honest, only reason Obama won in primaries was because of his color, do you see anywhere in news besides Shawn Hannity, nobody dares to criticize his ideas or his past, because they might get accused they are racist. Hannity is accused by many black folks that he is racist. How can someone win more than 92% of black vote in primaries against Hillary, African Americans have benefited a lot under Clinton administration, but black candidate came along and what do you know.

    I know one thing, if Obama unvelived his economic plan this last week, and McCain chose to play it safe and see what happens, what side of isle to go, you would never hear the end from Obama-bots and media. He is the same agreeing with Bush. Let not forget this stimulus package to rescue Wall Street is compiled from Bush administration, that Obama is waiting to take a stand and see how it works. But in other side has accused McCain that he is same as Bush. What do commentators say, Obama is being cautious with this situation and analyzing everything, being presidential.

    It is like that old saying, two broads were fighting and this guy was sitting to the sidelines, one of them asked him why dont you separate them, he answered I am waiting to see who looses so I can h.,, her

    I guess questions here is, will he stand for anything?

    I think there are elements of racism on both sides, if you dont agree with this, your either ignorant or stupid, or both.

    Probably this comment will never see the light of day on Obama newscorporation – CNN.

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. reverse racism is what I see

    Based on experience, qualifications, track-record and achievements- Obama would get ZERO votes.

    So I fail to see that race is anything other than an advantage for Obama.

    And the media will play it up to gain him even more votes.

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Sweetgreen

    To everyone that didn't read the article and say the race card is being played. There is no race card, this was a poll conducted by Yahoo in which people answered questions about race! It just goes to show, some people only see and hear what they want to and are as dumb as a box of rocks.

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. LBowie

    Mitchell, I love you comment. Thank you my fellow American.
    A color-blind African-American. Scratch that ... AMERICAN!

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. IF THEY ARE THAT STUPID, THEY DESERVE ....

    "OUT OF MANY, ONE PEOPLE." IF FOLKS ARE THAT STUPID, THEN THEY DESERVE WHATEVER THEY GET, HERE COMES THE GREAT DEPRESSION. THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO PUT A BAND-AID ON THESE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS UNTIL ELECTION DAY, STUPID!!!

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Rose

    I just want to remind everyone that anthropologists and archaeologists have PROVEN we are ALL DESCENDED from the same AFRICAN WOMAN. This is undisputed fact based on DNA research.

    Obama/Biden08

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Trish Hussein - PA

    Let's hope that there aren't enough racists out there to override the intelligent people the newly registered young voters. God help us all if McCain is elected.

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Edward

    What hypocrisy!! The son's and daughters of African -American mothers and Fathers, can fight, bleed and die in wars caused by non-African -Americans but non-African Americans can not see themselves electing an African-American to lead this country???? Yet, many call themselves Christians and act as if they are favored by God. What Hypocrisy. For those of you (who sit in churches every Sunday....) who would deny Mr. OBama simply because his pigmentation is darker then yours, ask yourself "WHAT WOULD JESUS DO"?????

    September 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Seriously????

    How does an idiot like "Independent but Leaning" manage to get his totally biased posts onto this site, but mine womehow never quite seem to make it? He might not be racist, but he certainly is ignorant.

    September 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Obama Rocks!

    I cannot imagine why anyone with an ounce of intelligence would vote for McCain/Palin. Hey, I love Hillary and actually considered voting for McCain when Hillary lost the primary. But the more I watched him, the weirder he seemed. Then came the shock of all shocks, the most irresponsible blunder that clearly showed his desire to win this campaign was stronger than his loyalty to the protection of the country: Sarah Palin. That's when McCain's character came through loud and clear.

    Then, the more I listened to Obama, the more impressed I became. What makes me the most ashamed as a women are these ticked off Hillary supporters who feel they are making some kind of statement to punish the Democrat party for taking Hillary away from them. Those women, and men, need to know that by voting for McCain/Palin, they are bringing dishonor upon every bit of work Hillary did for us. They need to keep in mind that this election is not about them, it's about our children and grandchildren and what kind of world we are leaving to them. Hillary is no longer an option, so vote for the person who can carry on her platform.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Obama is REAL Change

    Attention................Sarah Palin and African Americans in Alaska.....

    This person is NOT an African Americans. He has changed and made comments on most of these blogs flip-flopping against Obama. So now the Republicans are trying to convince voters that the Democrats don't want people who want to vote for Obama isn't welcome, LIE, we welcome your vote. Now they are acting as if they are African Americans making stupid and 2 yrs old comments. When will they ever learn WE are NOT fools this GO round.
    Don't forget, the Republicans are acting as if they are Democrats on here, they get paid to tell lies like their candidates, they are paid to act as if they are African Americans now, McCain daughter is one who gets paid a very LARGE amount to help fill these blogs as someone else. So please BEWARE, they are trying ANY means necessary to scare into the White House...

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. ANGIE

    I find it real sad that some would vote for a man and woman who has done nothing but tell lie after lie, A man that has admitted he doesnt understand the economy, A man that has said the economy is still strong A man who has been against Deregulation his whole senate career, A man who is pretty much in bed with the lobbisit and cares more about them then the people. A woman who has no foreign policy experience, a woman who is clearly lying about trooper gate and thinks she is above the law. ALL BECAUSE BARACK OBAMA IS NOT WHITE ENOUGH SAD VERY VERY SAD AND I AM A 37 YEAR OLD WHITE WOMAN AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE!

    September 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Sherry

    Eight houses; 13 cars; trooper-gate; baby-gate; can see Alaska from her house; had no idea with the Bush Doctrine was - and you think race will play into the equation - I can't imagine!

    September 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. brownie

    In that case I am more likely not to vote for Whites! IF we make this race about color then whites are the folks I won't vote for ....

    September 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Dave

    I would hope that a country that has as diverse a demographic as the United States,a country that was literally built on the backs of immigrants from all over the world,would have finally outgrown such destructive sentiments as racism.That being said,I do have that lingering fear that race will play a larger role in this election than most want to admit.How sad.After eight years of the worst administration in the countries history,you would think the populace would figure it was time for the Republican Party to sit on the sidelines for a term or two.

    September 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. H. Charles

    First, there no such thing as reverse racism. And if there was such a thing, the first thing you should do as a white person is ask yourself why white people started racism. Second, they don't call Obama a mixed race person because in this country, if your not white, you're black.

    September 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. babs-toronto

    Well it's upto to the American people to change their views on racism and think about which candidate will do a better job. Sounds simple enough but the American people have chosen GW for 8 years and that didn't even have anything to do with race. Generally all political pundits and pollsters do believe if Obama was white he would have this election wrapped up at this point and McCain wouldn't stand a chance.

    It's doubly important for Barack Obama to stick to the issues and make the American people believe his policies are far better than McCains and only this will take him over the top. As for people not voting for him because of color well let them suffer with their childrens education,healthcare and less money in their pockets and 4 more years of the failed policies of George W Bush.

    September 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Bob

    Not voting for Obama doesn't make you a racist, nobody as claimed that. But if you agree with the Democrats, voted for Hillary, and aren't voting Obama... my guess is your skin is white and your neck has tinge of red

    September 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Interesting

    Obama transcends race people. Let's move forward. If someone is throwing you a life raft do you really care what color they are? If so, you wouldn't live for long. In these tough times....Obama is our life raft – I let go of Bush/McCain and I'm holding onto Obama for dear life.

    We all need a real change!!!! Look at the economy and wall street!

    September 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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