Race Polls

21Sep08

I’m sick of seeing these analyses of the “race factor,” the latest entitled Poll: Racial Misgivings of Whites an Obama Issue. It’s not that I don’t think that racial bias is real, it’s the opposite. Human beings are designed to make grand judgments about others based on the most superficial characteristics – we have thousands of prejudices. It is the glorification of racial bias without regard for the others that angers me, because this fixation on racial prejudice is part of the business model of the Democratic Party.

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” or responsible for their own troubles.

Bias against John McCain because he is 72 is commonly promoted by the Obama campaign and the media, yet I haven’t seen any polls using complex modern detection techniques to dodge people’s attempts to hide their ageism. Nor have I heard Democrats rallying to McCain’s defense in horror.

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 2.5 percentage points.

Not only that, but no one seems outraged against the outright bigotry that Sarah Palin has faced – anti-woman, anti-rural, anti-working class – snob based elitist bigotry has been heeped on her bigtime, and who is coming to her defense?

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.

Of what consequence is this bias if whites are able to differentiate between generalized blacks and individual 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.

They also ignore the fact that Barack suffers from other, conflicting biases. Consider the prejudice that some nasty Americans hold toward those who seek positions of power without having appropriate experience, or those who use elected office as a stepping stone rather than offering leadership.

“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.

Exhaustive? Did it explore the prejudice against Mitt Romney because he was mormon, Hillary because she was female, or Rudy because he’s a bald New Yorker with an Italian surname?

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.

If this can’t be blamed on the thin resume, how about prejudice against those who are of the educational elite and look down on the bitter folk? How about bias against candidates who partner with race baiters, retired terrorists and corrupt, convicted fund raisers?

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.

Anytime there’s an article like this written, it is the equivalent of a PR piece for the Democratic Party – not because they do anything to help minorities, but because the misconception that they do is epidemic. I’m looking for some equal time consideration.



One Response to “Race Polls”

  1. 1 Gail

    Very valid points all, but this whole issue is a liberal distraction from the issues that are important to conservatives, and it is appearing, a majority of American citizens.

    Do you remember Obama calling every challenge about his unsavory associates and lack of meaningful credentials “distractions”?

    For Obama things like “achievement” are distraction. The issue, the only issue of this election is his precious self. The fact that he is incompetent and that he pretty much despises America are not issues that he thinks should impact the election.

    It is a grand liberal tradition to continue to breath new life into racism, because that is something where liberals are on firm ground. Everyone knows that racism is bad. Everyone rejects it.

    This may be the only point on which conservatives agree with liberals (excepting that it appears there are more closet racists among liberals than conservatives). So it is the only point on which they think they have a chance of winning the election. And, they must win this election in order to completely emasculate the USA and hand over world domination to Russia, Iran and Venezuela, nations they admire.

    Best regards,
    Gail S


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