Saturday, August 09, 2008
Interesting Gallup Poll on Public's Perception on Racism
The results from a Gallup/USA Today poll on how the public sees racism is very interesting. While both Democrats and independents see racism against African-Americans as more wide spread than racism against whites in the United States, Republicans are the opposite. The poll found that while only 39% of Republicans feel that racism is wide-spread against blacks, 46% believe that racism is widespread against whites. The fact that Republicans feel that way goes a long way toward explaining why Barack Obama is going to have trouble getting white Republicans to vote for him.
Further, the fact that 38% of Democrats and 43% of independents feel that racism against whites is widespread shows the problems that Obama will have countering any racist campaign tactics of the GOP. Whites who feel that racism against whites is widespread will accept McCain's argument that Obama is playing the so-called "race card" if he complains about such tactics.
The existence of such beliefs might explain why McCain's complaints about Obama's use of the "race card" seemed to result in some poll movement in McCain's favor. Whites who believe that racism against whites is widespread will be angered by what they may perceive as Obama's campaign use of such tactics.
In this campaign, white Americans belief about the effects of racism against blacks and whites will have a large impact on Obama's chances. Obama can, and most likely will win, but it won't be easy and it will be close in the sense that in many states Obama will have a narrow margin of victory.
UPDATE: As Pho pointed out in his comment, we forgot to put a link to the actual poll results. Here is the link to a article from the Gallup organization about the poll.