Outside the Beltway: AP: Racists Could Cost Obama Election

Outside the Beltway (9/20/08)

AP: Racists Could Cost Obama Election

A bizarre AP-YahooNews poll finds that racism could be the difference in the election.

As I’ve noted for months, the media have constructed a meme that, if Obama loses, it’s because he’s black.

Look, there’s no doubt that there are people who simply won’t vote for a black man to be president.  But polling on general attitudes doesn’t tell us much about specific behaviors.

Regular readers will recall a poll in February 2007 showing that Americans were more likely to vote for a black president than a Mormon, an atheist, or a 72-year-old.  94 percent of those surveyed would vote for a black man, whereas only 5 percent would not.  Conversely, a mere 57 percent would vote for a 72-year-old and a whopping 42 percent wouldn’t.

But, as it turns out, the contest will not be between a generic black man and a random 72-year-old.  Instead, it will be between two specific people who will be judged almost entirely as individuals.

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