New Poll Predicts Election Results: Racism by 6 Points

By Terry Keleher Sep 22, 2008

A new poll conducted by AP-Yahoo News in conjunction with Stanford University finds that racial prejudice is significant enough to be the deciding factor in the upcoming presidential election. Using the latest polling technologies to measure implicit racial bias, including the use of racial images and anonymous online responses, researchers developed mathematical formulas to predict the likelihood that people would vote for either Obama or McCain. The AP reported that “the researchers were able to conclude that race was a factor in how people vote, independent of their other political views and their demographic characteristics. They used the formulas to predict how much support Obama is losing because of his race. The result: Obama would receive an estimated 6 percentage points more support if there were no racial prejudice.” The poll also found that: •t40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents. •tMore 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. •tOne-third of white Democrats harbor negative stereotypes of Blacks, many viewing them as “lazy,” “violent” or “responsible for their own troubles." Since recent presidential elections have been decided by such narrow margins, the six-point electoral racial gap is major. If that’s not enough, you can bet there are clever campaign operatives calculating ways to exploit and enlarge that gap. Anyone who has a quick-fix remedy for reducing deep-seated racial prejudice may be in high demand right now. Got any ideas?