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Obama's Race Could Have an Unexpected Impact

Obama's Race Could Have an Unexpected Impact

Six percent of voters say they are less likely to vote for Barack Obama on account of his race. This stat feeds the concerns that America is not "ready" to elect a black president. But, hold off a second — that's not the end of the story. A recent Gallup poll also found that nine percent of voters are more likely to vote for Obama because of his race. Broken down between races of voters, seven percent of whites say they are more likely to vote Obama because of his race, compared to 15 percent of non-whites who say the same thing. Thus the color of Obama's skin could be a neutral if not positive factor.

Even more counter intuitive, McCain's numbers are similar — six percent of voters report that McCain's race make them less likely to vote for the Republican. Only seven percent say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Of course voter attitudes on race, might be different than they're willing to admit to pollsters, or even something they can identify themselves. Maybe this November we'll see the "Obama effect" rather than the Bradley effect.


Join The Conversation
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Umm I'm black and I'm only a Obama supporter because John Edwards is out of the race and it took me a long time to say I was voting for Obama because a lot of people assume I'm doing it because I am also black. And I agree that you are an uninformed voter if your vote is based on skin tone. However I don't agree that if I'm black and I'm voting for Obama because he's black that that person is a racist, again they are uniformed. And one has pride in ones race black,white, brown etc doesn't make them a racist, it think it's how you "act" on you pride that makes you's a very grey area sometimes.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
This is one poll that I think is useless because it hits on a topic that some people are embarassed about and therefore it's not way for this poll to be accurate ( less accurate than all the others out there too)People can say what they want, but it's all about what they are going to do in the booth alone!
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
I don't think girl that even FIFTY percent are truthful about their racist views.
indielove indielove 8 years
Of course they're not.
girlgreen girlgreen 8 years
i want to believe the results of this poll, and that the race issue will balance itself out in the election, but i don't think 100% of people are forthcoming about their racist views.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
It is True, and I agree that it's important to educate yourself. I have been a life-long "republican" on paper, but I HAVE voted democrat when I truly believed the candidate would make this country better. I don't like to call myself a "republican" but the fact of the matter is I DO vote that way more often than not, just because like you said, the republican party shares more of my views and beliefs. Are there things on their platform that I DON'T like? Absolutely! But there are more that are down the line with my own beliefs than that aren't.
geebers geebers 8 years
Jude exactly- perhaps I am voicing my rage from when I was younger and even now in my late 20s I will talk to another democrat about issues and while I am happy they are voting the same I get frustrated that they truly don't understand what is going on. True Song I get what you are saying and for the most part I understand. But I feel that even when you have little time to research- I am pretty sure you have an understanding of the general points the candidate stands for. One example I think of is during the primaries- that would be the time to figure out how candidates differ. Another example is Bloomberg - who ran under the Republican ticket his first term - if someone didnt bother to research him they would have no idea he is actually democratic.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
To be honest, I always try to educate myself on all the candidates and all the issues, but if it comes down to it and I don't have time to do my homework, I vote for the democratic candidate or I vote the way the party recommends on a law. When I do my own research, I end up voting the same way, so I don't see what the big deal is, and I certainly think that's very, very different from voting based on race.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"So, if someone is a member of that party, doesn't it seem like they will probably share more of my values than someone who is a Republican, whose party typically takes the opposite stance?" Yep. I think, though, that for some people, particularly very young ones just becoming politically aware, party affiliation is a matter of social identity more so than issues. I remember that when I was in school, there were a lot of kids who declared themselves for their party mostly because they were drawn to a certain image, without really having a depth of understanding about the issues and their ramifications.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
>I think blindly voting for your party without regards to what your candidate stands for is just as bad as voting based on race. But don't you pick your party based on the issues? I'm not a democrat because I like donkeys. It's because they're generally more liberal, generally favor more gun control, generally support programs like welfare, generally are more sympathetic to gay rights, etc. So, if someone is a member of that party, doesn't it seem like they will probably share more of my values than someone who is a Republican, whose party typically takes the opposite stance?
audreystar audreystar 8 years
Geebers your avy is adorable. :love:
geebers geebers 8 years
I think blindly voting for your party without regards to what your candidate stands for is just as bad as voting based on race. It pisses me off how many people I know that could give two sh!ts about policies and issues. I know way too many people who have no idea what either candidate stands for but are voting the way they are because of the party they have always voted for. But even worse than these people are the people that are too lazy to vote. I know even more people that don't vote because they genuinely believe their vote doesn't make a difference. I don't even know what to say to them anymore. Some of these people I am very close to and care about but when they say things like that I seethe with rage inside! *sigh*
indielove indielove 8 years
Thanks, Jude. :)
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
Anyone not voting OR voting for him simply because of his race is, in my opinion, a racist. I can't stand the man, I think he's a socialist and very dangerous for this country, but it has nothing to do with his race. It has to do with his fundamental beliefs and his actions. And like said, if you ARE voting for him because of his race, that's just as bad.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Mydiadem, race is a characteristic the candidate has no control over, and therefore should not be considered a detriment or an asset. Their position on abortion is something very much under their control, and therefore it is fair to take it into account. An 'issue' and a 'characteristic' are very different.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I almost voted for Ross Perot just because i thought he was hilarious.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Is it just as bad to vote for a candidate based on race as it is to vote for a candidate based on whether they are pro and anti choice? I think taking one issue or characteristic of a candidate and voting based solely on that isn't the best approach.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"Let those who want to rise above that pettiness do so and those who want to stay in the Dark Ages deal with their own ignorance." Beautifully put!
Michelann Michelann 8 years
This really doesn't surprise me. I've always thought (and said for a while) that the racism would more or less even out.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
McCain camp keeps bringing up his middle name and injecting question about whether or not he's Muslim -- so that less intelligent right will flock to that. His race is totally an issue.
Sugasuga29 Sugasuga29 8 years
Audreystar, the "free michelin" avatars are referencing the probation that poster Michelin received from our left-leaning Sugar site. :)
True-Song True-Song 8 years
I would vote for Obama if he were purple, but I certainly don't mind the idea that we will have our first black president. I'm happy to be voting for the first black president, but I don't think that had an impact on my decision. Between Clinton and Obama, I made my choice because I thought Obama was running a better campaign, and I think Clinton was more of a polarizing figure. I suppose I was one of those primary voters voting on electability, and in that case, his being black may have swayed me against voting for him, but I think if I considered race at all it was subconsciously.
audreystar audreystar 8 years
What is with all the Free Mich avy's?
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
interesting thoughts ladies!
Imabeliever Imabeliever 8 years
I meant melting pot.. not mixing pot.. :)
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