Politico: Ben Smith: Six points for race?

Politico: Ben Smith (9/20/08

Six points for race

AP has a provocative story that’s going to drive chatter for a while on something most people who have covered the campaign in places have always known anecdotally: that, as an Ohioan told me last month, “There’s some folks around here, they wouldn’t vote for a black man if he came walking across the water with Moses and Christ.”

What’s new about the poll AP writes up — without sharing the methodology in detail — is the attempt to quantify this effect: “Statistical models derived from the poll suggest that Obama’s support would be as much as 6 percentage points higher if there were no white racial prejudice.

There’s also the question of how the chatter around the new poll plays. In general, the discussion of race and racism is itself polarizing, and something Obama has avoided. But the perception that the only reason to vote for McCain is racism could really damage the Republican with white voters who don’t, and don’t want to, see themselves as racists

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