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20 September 2008

White Democrats May Be The Cause Of An Obama Defeat In November

George Stephanopoulos: Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm naive, but Sam I guess I think that anyone who's not going to vote for Barack Obama because he is black isn't going to vote for a Democrat anyway." [Source: Newsbusters.org, "Stephanopoulos: Those Against Obama Because He's Black Won't Vote for Any Democrat", May 14, 2007]

During the May 13, 2007 broadcast of the ABC News Sunday morning public affairs show "This Week", the show's host, George Stephanopoulos, said that he thought that anyone who would vote against Barack Obama because of his race probably wouldn't be voting for a Democrat in the first place. However, a new Associated Press/Yahoo News poll suggests that if Obama loses the White House in November, prejudices against blacks among white Democrats may be a reason why.

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.

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. [Source: Athens Banner-Herald, "Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama", September 20, 2008]

The Athens Banner-Herald article goes to say that while Republican voters also hold negative views of blacks, they're voting against Obama because he's a Democrat and not because he's black.

The results from this new AP/Yahoo News poll seems consistent with what I've heard from more than a few of my white friends who align themselves with the Democratic Party. They say that they don't like McCain, but that there's something about Obama that doesn't feel right to them. And that ultimately, they may end up voting for the Republican presidential nominee.

Now I don't know if that can be attributed to prejudices against blacks, but I do believe that when voters, white or black, are alone in that voting booth and see the names "Barack Obama" and "John McCain" side by side, they more than likely will vote with their hearts and not with their heads. And my concern is that if voting for Obama just doesn't feel right, the junior Senator from Illinois will lose more than a handful of votes even among Democrats.

On a side note, the AP/Yahoo News poll confirms something that I've known for a long time. If Barack Obama doesn't get a significant chunk of the white vote, he'll lose. The poll says that while Obama gets nearly unanimous support from blacks, there aren't enough blacks in America to put Obama in office.