I was talking the other day to a prominent Republican who asked me what I thought John McCainâ€™s strongest issues would be in the general election. Lower taxes and the argument he will be better able to protect America from its enemies, I said. […]
The Republican shook his head. â€œYouâ€™re missing the most important one,â€ he said. â€œRace. McCain runs against Barack Obama and the race vote is worth maybe 15 percent to McCain.â€
The man I was talking to is not a racist; he was just stating what he believes to be a fact: There is a percentage of the American electorate who will simply not vote for a black person no matter what his qualities or qualifications.
How big is that percentage? An AP-Yahoo poll conducted April 2-14 found that â€œabout 8 percent of whites would be uncomfortable voting for a black for president.â€ I donâ€™t know if 8 percent sounds high or low to you, but I was amazed that 8 percent of respondents were willing to admit this to a pollster. And I figure that the true figure is much higher.
The same poll, by the way, found that 15 percent of voters think Obama is a Muslim. He is, in fact, a Christian. But thinking a person is a Muslim probably does not encourage you to vote for him in America today.
Personally, I think the % is lower, but I guess we’ll see. If McCain pulls off some sort of stunning, landslide victory, we’ll know there’s probably some validity to this.
Now, how many wouldn’t vote for a woman?