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    Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama

    By RON FOURNIER and TREVOR TOMPSON,
    Associated Press Writers
    Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them "lazy," "violent," responsible for their own troubles.

    The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about two and one-half percentage points.

    Certainly, Republican John McCain has his own obstacles: He's an ally of an unpopular president and would be the nation's oldest first-term president. But Obama faces this: 40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents.

    Adjectives that describe blacks

    More than a third of all white Democrats and independents — voters Obama can't win the White House without — agreed with at least one negative adjective about blacks, according to the survey, and they are significantly less likely to vote for Obama than those who don't have such views.

    Such numbers are a harsh dose of reality in a campaign for the history books. Obama, the first black candidate with a serious shot at the presidency, accepted the Democratic nomination on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, a seminal moment for a nation that enshrined slavery in its Constitution.

    "There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago, but that doesn't mean there's only a few bigots," said Stanford political scientist Paul Sniderman who helped analyze the exhaustive survey.

    The pollsters set out to determine why Obama is locked in a close race with McCain even as the political landscape seems to favor Democrats. President Bush's unpopularity, the Iraq war and a national sense of economic hard times cut against GOP candidates, as does that fact that Democratic voters outnumber Republicans.

    The findings suggest that Obama's problem is close to home — among his fellow Democrats, particularly non-Hispanic white voters. Just seven in 10 people who call themselves Democrats support Obama, compared to the 85 percent of self-identified Republicans who back McCain.

    The survey also focused on the racial attitudes of independent voters because they are likely to decide the election.

    Lots of Republicans harbor prejudices, too, but the survey found they weren't voting against Obama because of his race. Most Republicans wouldn't vote for any Democrat for president — white, black or brown.

    Not all whites are prejudiced. Indeed, more whites say good things about blacks than say bad things, the poll shows. And many whites who see blacks in a negative light are still willing or even eager to vote for Obama.

    On the other side of the racial question, the Illinois Democrat is drawing almost unanimous support from blacks, the poll shows, though that probably wouldn't be enough to counter the negative effect of some whites' views.

    Race is not the biggest factor driving Democrats and independents away from Obama. Doubts about his competency loom even larger, the poll indicates. More than a quarter of all Democrats expressed doubt that Obama can bring about the change they want, and they are likely to vote against him because of that.

    Three in 10 of those Democrats who don't trust Obama's change-making credentials say they plan to vote for McCain.

    Still, the effects of whites' racial views are apparent in the polling.

    Statistical models derived from the poll suggest that Obama's support would be as much as 6 percentage points higher if there were no white racial prejudice.

    But in an election without precedent, it's hard to know if such models take into account all the possible factors at play.

    The AP-Yahoo News poll used the unique methodology of Knowledge Networks, a Menlo Park, Calif., firm that interviews people online after randomly selecting and screening them over telephone. Numerous studies have shown that people are more likely to report embarrassing behavior and unpopular opinions when answering questions on a computer rather than talking to a stranger.

    Other techniques used in the poll included recording people's responses to black or white faces flashed on a computer screen, asking participants to rate how well certain adjectives apply to blacks, measuring whether people believe blacks' troubles are their own fault, and simply asking people how much they like or dislike blacks.

    "We still don't like black people," said John Clouse, 57, reflecting the sentiments of his pals gathered at a coffee shop in Somerset, Ohio.

    Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe blacks, 20 percent of all whites said the word "violent" strongly applied. Among other words, 22 percent agreed with "boastful," 29 percent "complaining," 13 percent "lazy" and 11 percent "irresponsible." When asked about positive adjectives, whites were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment.

    Among white Democrats, one third cited a negative adjective and, of those, 58 percent said they planned to back Obama.

    The poll sought to measure latent prejudices among whites by asking about factors contributing to the state of black America. One finding: More than a quarter of white Democrats agree that "if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites."

    Those who agreed with that statement were much less likely to back Obama than those who didn't.

    Among white independents, racial stereotyping is not uncommon. For example, while about 20 percent of independent voters called blacks "intelligent" or "smart," more than one third latched on the adjective "complaining" and 24 percent said blacks were "violent."

    Nearly four in 10 white independents agreed that blacks would be better off if they "try harder."

    The survey broke ground by incorporating images of black and white faces to measure implicit racial attitudes, or prejudices that are so deeply rooted that people may not realize they have them. That test suggested the incidence of racial prejudice is even higher, with more than half of whites revealing more negative feelings toward blacks than whites.

    Researchers used mathematical modeling to sort out the relative impact of a huge swath of variables that might have an impact on people's votes — including race, ideology, party identification, the hunger for change and the sentiments of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's backers.

    Just 59 percent of her white Democratic supporters said they wanted Obama to be president. Nearly 17 percent of Clinton's white backers plan to vote for McCain.

    Among white Democrats, Clinton supporters were nearly twice as likely as Obama backers to say at least one negative adjective described blacks well, a finding that suggests many of her supporters in the primaries — particularly whites with high school education or less — were motivated in part by racial attitudes.

    The survey of 2,227 adults was conducted Aug. 27 to Sept. 5. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

    ———

    Associated Press writers Nancy Benac, Julie Carr Smyth, Philip Elliot, Julie Pace and Sonya Ross contributed to this story.

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    Red face

    Just finished reading this less than 5 minutes ago. It doesn't surprise me one bit.
    "The backlash against bone-straight hair can't come quickly enough: I like my hair with its Afro personality intact." --Hannah Pool, journalist

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    i was just going to post this :lol:
    2 Awesome 2be forgotten Mia Fite/ etifaim luv u 4life

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    Interesting. Although I think race is a factor I don't think it will matter in the end. I don't believe that Obama would be way ahead in the polls if he was white. America is way too complex.

    Just look at the strategies of the reps over the years. They have always managed to use fear and divide and conquor strategies to blow up differences between fundamental mainly religious believes like abortion and gay rights.

    I think about the example how Bush W won his race in Texas against a woman who was way ahead in the polls. Everybody was sure she was going to win. Then they distributed flyers with kissing men in every area that they could and you know what Bush won.

    Oprah, Michael Jordan are to me examples why Barack has a good change in this race. Oprah doesn't fit the media/beauty standard/profile at all yet she tops the list. I heard a racist who hated black people say that Michael Jordan was great.

    Oprah and Michael made it because they could make money for their bosses, had charisma and were smart enough to bank on that at the right time.

    What does that have to do with Obama? With this economic crises EVERY one is affected, black, whites, women, catholics, muslims etc. And no matter what if Obama can proof that he understand economics better than mccain, meaning that we're in this crises because of the Laiser fair economic strategies of the reps and that he has plans to get us out, he will win.

    If Americans can all agree on something it's money, regardless of anything.

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    This isn't even a suprise to me, I've known this from day one.

    Last r.elaxer: Feb. 2001
    Big Chop: March 15, 2002

    Napptural for life!

    Hair Album-Last Updated June 28, 2008


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    It is the 800 lb gorilla. We'd all rather believe that we (America) are above all of that petty, ignorance. HRC knew better and that was one of the arguments she indirectly made for being selected as the Dem's nominee with Obama in the VP slot.

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    Mireille, you and I are usually on the same page on stuff but I gotta respond to some of this.

    Interesting. Although I think race is a factor I don't think it will matter in the end. I don't believe that Obama would be way ahead in the polls if he was white. America is way too complex.[/b]
    No, actually, it's not...at least not among a significant portion of white Americans IMHO. See below:

    Just look at the strategies of the reps over the years. They have always managed to use fear and divide and conquor strategies to blow up differences between fundamental mainly religious believes like abortion and gay rights.

    I think about the example how Bush W won his race in Texas against a woman who was way ahead in the polls. Everybody was sure she was going to win. Then they distributed flyers with kissing men in every area that they could and you know what Bush won.[/b]
    And this proves my point: Too many people are too easily scared and just enough politicians and their machines know which buttons to push. The "race fear" button is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest, button available.

    Oprah, Michael Jordan are to me examples why Barack has a good change in this race. Oprah doesn't fit the media/beauty standard/profile at all yet she tops the list. I heard a racist who hated black people say that Michael Jordan was great.

    Oprah and Michael made it because they could make money for their bosses, had charisma and were smart enough to bank on that at the right time. [/b]
    But most white people don't consider either Oprah or Michael "really" black. They have "transcended" race (which is code for "transcending the inherent weaknesses associated with being a person of color"; you NEVER hear of whites "transcending" race). Same with Barack BUT it's one thing to be an entertainer (I know, Oprah's not quite that but she's a "personality") or an athlete...it's another thing to be a potential occupant of the High Holy White House.

    What does that have to do with Obama? With this economic crises EVERY one is affected, black, whites, women, catholics, muslims etc. And no matter what if Obama can proof that he understand economics better than mccain, meaning that we're in this crises because of the Laiser fair economic strategies of the reps and that he has plans to get us out, he will win.

    If Americans can all agree on something it's money, regardless of anything.
    [/b]
    I HOPE you're right on this. However, there are a sizable number of "morals voters" with strong values who believe that Sarah Palin will save this country from going to hell. Similarly, there are folks who believe that the Muslims and the "farners" are out to get us and they will vote for whoever will keep America "safe." These are the people who consistently vote against their economic interests and unless something REALLY serious happens (like regular banks start closing and inflation shoots way up) that's exactly what they'll do this time.

    Re the poll: I saw this and I was like, "No sh** Sherlock!" :rolleyes: I know for a FACT that if the people polled were truly honest and not afraid to not appear PC the real numbers would be higher than those that were listed. When you really break down the reality and history of race relations in this country (including how ingrained white privilege is and how it really does affect how whites literally see (or don't see) people of color) there are VERY FEW whites, regardless of affiliation, who can stand to hear it.

    By rights Obama SHOULD be further ahead than he is but we'll see what happens in the next few weeks.
    Hello, 2021. Glad to see you. Hope you're bringing us goodness and light this year!

  8. #8
    mstnt is offline Active Nappturality Member
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    White people don't mind riding the train to hell as long as the conductor ain't black-Somebody
    tell me why they think they are better than us?
    Brutally Honest

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    White people don't mind riding the train to hell as long as the conductor ain't black-Somebody
    tell me why they think they are better than us?[/b]
    Hundreds of years of being told that they are. Every system in this country is tilted in favor of whites and the whole history of the US is about legal white supremacy. We've worked hard to change this but the attitudes are still there and will be for a long time unfortunately. I'm just glad that some whites are waking up.

  10. #10
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    Mireille, you and I are usually on the same page on stuff but I gotta respond to some of this.
    No, actually, it's not...at least not among a significant portion of white Americans IMHO. See below:
    And this proves my point: Too many people are too easily scared and just enough politicians and their machines know which buttons to push. The "race fear" button is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest, button available.[/b]
    I agree with you too but I think the fear tactics in general ARE the oldest. Divide and conquer and especially fear were used in ancient times, race is "just" another "relatively new" tool in this mix.

    But most white people don't consider either Oprah or Michael "really" black. They have "transcended" race (which is code for "transcending the inherent weaknesses associated with being a person of color"; you NEVER hear of whites "transcending" race). Same with Barack BUT it's one thing to be an entertainer (I know, Oprah's not quite that but she's a "personality") or an athlete...it's another thing to be a potential occupant of the High Holy White House.[/b]
    I do think Obama transcended race as well. Actually he is white which makes "him look a bit more appealing/less frighting" and some other facts that he had to fight to get the black vote.


    I HOPE you're right on this. However, there are a sizable number of "morals voters" with strong values who believe that Sarah Palin will save this country from going to hell. Similarly, there are folks who believe that the Muslims and the "farners" are out to get us and they will vote for whoever will keep America "safe." These are the people who consistently vote against their economic interests and unless something REALLY serious happens (like regular banks start closing and inflation shoots way up) that's exactly what they'll do this time.[/b]
    Couldn't agree more but this proofs my point. No matter what color you are it's tough to get these votes. If Obama was white they would have find other points besides race and Hillary against him. Kerry was a good good guy. Look what they did to him. They will always find people to vote against you. Did you see the Black against Obama with greasy straightened hair guy?

    Re the poll: I saw this and I was like, "No sh** Sherlock!" :rolleyes: I know for a FACT that if the people polled were truly honest and not afraid to not appear PC the real numbers would be higher than those that were listed. When you really break down the reality and history of race relations in this country (including how ingrained white privilege is and how it really does affect how whites literally see (or don't see) people of color) there are VERY FEW whites, regardless of affiliation, who can stand to hear it.

    By rights Obama SHOULD be further ahead than he is but we'll see what happens in the next few weeks.
    [/b]
    Again I totally agree but we mainly think alike. Think about people who hardly watch or hear politics who got a household to run with kids and make ends meet with no internet connection or no cable. All they see or hear is an occasional political ad. Maybe they go to a church that endorsed the reps. Bush still has strong support among religious voters and this is I think the largest group of voters.

    Very true msshel but you have to look beyond that. Most people think like that. I remember a Dutch coach winning the championship for a German team and a German commented yes but he is not a German.

    I think that I might be the hopeful mind Barack is talking about. The ones who refuse to settle. I know that it's hard to grow up here and not be a cynic when it comes to racism but take it from an outsider who lived in Suriname, The Netherlands, Portugal (only a few months) and traveled enough, America does quite well when it comes to racism.

    Only a few years ago I read a piece about Cuba where a Black man was the best person for a position but it was very unlikely that he would get it because he was too dark skin. That is

    I am not saying that there is no racism here but I agree with Obama that the view of many is clouded because of historical disappointment. Hey it is your right and I understand after King/Malcolm/ Emmett Till and many more but I think sometimes you fail to see how far you've come. Yes you have a long way to go but you can praise yourself as African Americans. You did and are still doing a wonderful job.

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