Politico: It’s NOT the racial issues, stupid

Politico

It’s NOT the racial issues, stupid

Never mind polls. Pennsylvania state Sen. Lisa M. Boscola does not need numbers to understand the meaning of the voices she hears while knocking on doors in her Lehigh Valley district.

“I’m hearing, ‘Oh, you know, he’s just not ready.’ I don’t know whether some of that has to do with his color. I think some of it does,” said Boscola, a veteran Democrat from Northampton County in the Lehigh Valley. “They say that they don’t trust him, and I don’t get it. What is it about him that’s bothering them? … It has to be [about his race], because they’re trying to find an excuse.”

In the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, Nancy Garland, a Democrat who is running for state representative, says she’s hearing the same thing, even if few will say so in plain terms.

“Nobody will say that to you, but it’s, you know, the 100-pound gorilla in the room,” said Garland. “I have an individual that I see that works in a hair salon … and she says [Barack Obama is] a Muslim, and I say, ‘No, he’s not.’”

Yet at the same time, many of these politicians are reporting another phenomenon — that there is one central concern at the moment, the economy, and it seems to trump all others, even deep-seated racial prejudice.

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