Suddenly, the presidential contest here is less about black and white and more about green, as in the frightening evaporation of trillions of Americans’ dollars.
The nation’s economic tsunami is muddying old assumptions about how race will sway voters in this mother of all electoral battlegrounds and other hard-hit swing states.
“It’s not unusual for people here to express racist beliefs openly,” said Bill Clemmens, 60, a white, small businessman who supportsDemocrat Barack Obama. “But I also believe many of those who 10 years ago might have been described as abject bigots will vote for Obama.”
“The economy just trumps racism at this point,” said Clemmens, adding that many Republicans he knows in his Dayton neighborhood simply feel “suckered” by the last eight years.