Monday, September 22, 2008

Shocking New Poll Confirms: Racial Bias Is Greatest Obstacle to an Obama Presidency

Forty Percent of White Voters (Including a Third of White Democrats) Hold Negative Attitudes Toward Blacks So Deeply That They Likely Won't Vote for Obama Because of His Race, AP-Yahoo! News Poll Finds -- Posing a Dangerous Threat to Illinois Senator's Chances of Winning the White House in Neck-and-Neck Contest With McCain

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. ...

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama greets supporters at the end a campaign rally Friday in Coral Gables, Florida, near Miami, which drew over 8,000 people. Obama has regained the lead over his Republican rival John McCain in most national pre-election opinion surveys. But a shocking new poll released Saturday by the Associated Press and Yahoo! News reveals that up to 40 percent of white voters -- including a third of white Democrats -- hold such deep-seated negative views of blacks that they likely won't vote for Obama because of his race. (Photo: Chris Carlson/AP)


(Posted 5:00 a.m. EDT Monday, September 22, 2008)

By SKEETER SANDERS


Barack Obama can no longer afford to ignore it. His detractors -- especially those within his own party -- can no longer deny it.

And despite gaining momentum against Republican rival John McCain in recent days and flush with tens of millions of dollars in new campaign donations, the Democratic presidential nominee must inevitably confront it.

Head-on.

"It" is a old nemesis that has proven time and again throughout American history to be an implacable arch-enemy to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Americans of African descent, Obama included.

That "old nemesis" is racial prejudice.

A shocking new poll released Saturday by the Associated Press and Yahoo! News has found that up to 40 percent of white voters -- including up to a third of white Democrats -- hold such deep-seated negative attitudes toward blacks that they likely won't vote for Obama because of his race.

The findings are a stunning confirmation of what The 'Skeeter Bites Report found in a story it published last Monday: That based on a series of racially-charged incidents against the Obama campaign -- and the candidate himself -- that have persisted for nearly a year, racial bias against Obama poses a serious threat to the Illinois senator's chances of winning the White House in November.

With Obama -- the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas -- locked in a neck-and-neck contest with McCain, the new poll shows that the danger of Obama being denied the presidency because of his race is far greater than previously believed.

The survey, conducted by Stanford University in California, suggests that the percentage of voters who might either stay home or vote against Obama because of his race could end up larger than the final margin between President Bush and his Democratic challenger, John Kerry, in 2004 — about 2.5 percentage points.

RACE BIAS AGAINST OBAMA PERSISTS DESPITE MOUNTING PROBLEMS FOR MCCAIN

This race-based threat to Obama is all the more shocking in light of the fact that McCain faces some increasingly formidable obstacles that stand in the way of his own quest for the White House:

# McCain's close alignment with a deeply unpopular President Bush, particularly on the equally unpopular war in Iraq.

# McCain's contradictory positions on how to deal with the ongoing crisis roiling the financial markets -- contradictions which have alarmed the editors of The Wall Street Journal, the staunchly conservative and pro-Republican business daily.

# McCain's age, 72, and his steadfast refusal to provide copies of his medical records to journalists or to allow journalists to copy them -- in addition to recent revelations that he's receiving a disability pension from the Navy -- is prompting growing questions about his health (He has a potentially fatal form of skin cancer).

# McCain's increasingly controversial vice-presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who's embroiled in the growing "Troopergate" scandal back home over her alleged abuses of power -- and whose family has become the subject of a series of lurid tabloid stories.

The danger of a racially-motivated rejection of Obama's candidacy by white voters is being further stoked by right-wing pundits such as Rush Limbaugh -- whose 20 million weekly radio listeners are predominantly white, middle-aged conservative Republican men, according to a recent demographic survey of talk-radio listeners -- and who, in an extraordinary display of reverse psychology, has accused the Illinois senator's campaign of "trafficking in prejudice of its own making."

NEGATIVE RACIAL STEREOTYPES PERSIST AMONG WORKING-CLASS WHITES IN 'RUST BELT'

The poll found that despite Obama's broad appeal across the racial and ethnic spectrum, a third of white Democrats -- particularly older, working-class whites 55 years of age and over with only a high-school education or less -- persistently cling to negative stereotypes of blacks, with many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.

These voters formed the backbone of Hillary Clinton's support in the Democratic primaries in the so-called "Rust Belt" states of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana and Ohio.

It is in these states, as well as in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, where Obama campaign offices in recent months have been vandalized -- with windows smashed and racist graffiti spray-painted -- and where Obama campaign volunteers have been subjected to racial insults by hecklers.

"We still don't like black people," 57-year-old John Clouse of Somerset, Ohio told the AP -- a sentiment that was echoed among his friends gathered at a local coffee shop.

The new poll found that up to 17 percent of white Clinton supporters now say they will vote for McCain, with a hard core of nine percent -- almost exclusively rural, low-income whites who never finished high school -- freely admitting that Obama's race is the principal reason for their switch in support to the Republican.

RACIAL VIEWS OF WHITE INDEPENDENTS JUST AS CHALLENGING FOR OBAMA

The survey also found that white independent voters' racial attitudes are just as daunting. For example, while about 20 percent of white independents 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 with a survey statement 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 support Obama than those who didn't. The lower the income and educational level among this group, the stronger the resistance to Obama's candidacy -- almost exactly mirroring the findings among white Democrats.

Among Republicans, opposition to Obama's White House bid, not surprisingly, runs the highest, with an overwhelming 85 percent of Republicans supporting McCain. But partisanship has much more to do with Republicans' attitudes than anything else, as a solid 74 percent of Republicans said they wouldn't vote for the Democratic nominee regardless of who the nominee is -- whether Obama, Clinton, or anyone else.

THE WILD CARD: LATINOS, ASIANS LEFT OUT OF SURVEY

Not surprisingly, the Illinois Democrat is drawing almost unanimous support from African-Americans, the poll shows -- even among the tiny minority of blacks who are registered Republicans. It's not known, though, if Obama's solid support among black voters -- who are expected to turn out in record numbers in November -- will be enough to counter the negative impact of the white voters who oppose him.

Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that the poll did not include the views of Latinos and Asian-Americans. Since securing the Democratic nomination, the Obama campaign has been working overtime to win over Latinos, who voted overwhelmingly for Clinton in the primaries.

That effort appears to be paying off in four of the five states which have the highest concentrations of Latino voters -- California, New Mexico, New York, Florida and Texas.

Polls in California -- which also has the second-highest concentration of Asian-Americans, after Obama's native state of Hawaii -- show Obama with a commanding 16-point lead over McCain, 52 percent to 36 percent, according to the respected Field Poll.

In New Mexico -- where Latinos make up nearly half the population and whose state and local governments are de facto bilingual in English and Spanish -- Obama leads McCain 52 percent to 44 percent, according to Survey USA.

In New York -- Clinton's home state -- Obama leads McCain, 55 percent to 42 percent, according to Rasmussen Reports.

In Florida -- where Clinton easily defeated Obama in the disputed January primary and where southern Florida's Cuban-American community has traditionally voted Republican -- Obama and McCain are locked in a statistical dead heat, according to an American Research Group poll.

Only in Texas -- Bush's home state -- which hasn't voted for the Democratic presidential nominee since native son Lyndon Johnson in 1964, has Obama's outreach to Latinos failed. McCain holds a commanding lead over Obama in the Lone Star State, 57 percent to 36 percent, according to ARG.

OTHER WHITE CLINTON SUPPORTERS HOLDING OUT UNTIL AFTER THE DEBATES

Among Clinton's white supporters overall, only 59 percent said they wanted Obama to be president. Twenty-four percent -- particularly women still angry over what they saw was sexist treatment of the New York senator and former first lady by the Obama campaign and by the media -- declined to state a preference, with many in this group saying that they would continue to hold out until after the debates between Obama and McCain.

The first debate is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. EDT Friday night at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. The Obama and McCain campaigns reached an agreement late Saturday with the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates to scrap the original format in favor of an unusual free-flowing format that included time for unpredictable questioning and for challenges between the two vice-presidential candidates.

The lone vice-presidential debate, between Palin and her Democratic rival, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, will take place under a more structured format, in which Palin and Biden will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for McCain and Obama, and much less opportunity for direct exchanges between the vice-presidential nominees.

The McCain campaign insisted on the tighter format for the vice-presidential debate out of fear that Palin, an admittedly inexperienced debater, would have been placed at a disadvantage against the veteran senator, who's well known for his verbosity -- which the tighter format is likely to curb.

Despite the agreement, Obama could still be placed at a disadvantage in the first debate, as it is being held on a Friday night, when many of Obama's most ardent supporters -- college-age young people -- tend to go out. How many of them will stay home to watch the debate is anybody's guess.

The second debate, is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, with the third and final debate on Wednesday, October 15 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

The lone vice-presidential debate will take place on Thursday, October 2 at Washington University in St. Louis.

POLL EMPLOYED THE INTERNET RATHER THAN THE TELEPHONE

The AP-Yahoo! News survey employed a methodology seldom used before: More than 2,220 adults across the country were given an online questionnaire after they were initially contacted by telephone.

The idea behind conducting the survey online was that respondents were more likely to express their real feelings in providing answers to questions on highly sensitive subjects, such as race, in the relative anonymity of the Internet, rather than by talking to a complete stranger on the phone.

Moreover, the new method takes into account the fact that more than 100 million Americans now use cellular telephones, whose numbers are, by law, not listed in telephone directories and thus are unreachable by pollsters -- and telemarketers. By comparison, over 220 million Americans -- more than two-thirds of the nation's population -- use the Internet, according to Infoplease.com.

The AP reported that by using this methodology, the survey had a margin for error of plus or minus two percent. By comparison, most traditional telephone-based surveys have a error margin of plus or minus four percent.

POLL'S FINDINGS A SOBERING WAKE-UP CALL FOR OBAMA

That race is a significant factor in the presidential contest was made shockingly clear by the new survey, in which the AP found that support for Obama would be as much as six percent higher than it is if anti-black racial prejudice didn't exist -- or, to put it another way, if Obama was white.

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

Dr. Paul Sniderman, a political science professor at Stanford University who worked on the survey, told the AP, "There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago." But he cautioned that while the overtly racist bigotry expressed by earlier generations of whites has declined as those earlier generations have passed away, "that doesn't mean there's only a few bigots."

The results also lays bare the real reason why Obama is locked in a close race with McCain in spite of the fact that the political landscape in this election cycle heavily favors Democrats.

At a time when even the Republicans concede that they have no chance of taking back control of Congress -- and are in danger of losing more seats to the Democrats -- and when history has shown time and again since the 1930s that the incumbent president's party always loses the White House when the U.S. economy goes south during his tenure, there is no other reason for the Obama-McCain contest to be nearly deadlocked.

The unprecedented vehemence of the McCain campaign's savage attack ads against Obama, a vehemence that it would not have dared to use against Hillary Clinton had she won the Democratic nomination, combined with the recurrent racially-motivated incidents against Obama campaign offices and volunteers -- and now this survey -- is proof positive that Obama's race is indeed an issue in this campaign.

If Obama loses the election because of racial bias, it will bring disgrace upon this country to a degree it has not seen in 40 years. And no amount of denial by Obama's detractors will be able to erase it.

# # #

Volume III, Number 57
Copyright 2008, Skeeter Sanders. All rights reserved.








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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think its atrocious...people seem to forget that Obama is also half-white..raised by his white family (Do the McCains have black servants..I know they have a black child)...I am not sure this "racial bias" is true, or at least not as wide spread as believed...we have black Governor's, black Congress members, black athletes, black police officers, black cabinet members and black heros..as well as oriental and other races....I am not so sure that this "race issue", is as big a deal as the political pundits would have us believe....but it does make a great story and it sells newspapers...

Anonymous said...

This is a fake issue being thrown at us so that the election, which would be 3-to-1 in Obama's favor in an honest and open election situation, can be stolen by ES&S and Diebold.

A. Magnus Publius said...

This poll is nothing more than the rationalization of the Bushevik/McCain communist crime gang stealing yet another election. Remember that Stanford has a huge number of government contracts for research, and it has a history of delving into disturbing topics like the infamous 'Stanford Prison Experiment.' I would demand to see the raw data before believing those embedded government propagandists at Stanford.