Saturday, September 20, 2008

Obama and Race: Two Articles

The first article is by AP Hack Ron Fournier:

Poll: Racial views steer some away from Obama
One-third of polled white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks

updated 10:04 a.m. CT, Sat., Sept. 20, 2008
WASHINGTON - Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.

The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about two and one-half percentage points.

Certainly, Republican John McCain has his own obstacles: He's an ally of an unpopular president and would be the nation's oldest first-term president. But Obama faces this: 40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents.

Rest of this trash at the link above.

Riddle me this, ladies and come this article is coming out just as Obama is taking the lead again in all the polls?

I'm just askin'.

But, Al Giordano, over at The Field, has a better response:

The AP’s Ron Fournier: Racial Arsonist and Unethical Journalist

Lord, I wish I had written that headline..LOL

The beginning of the article:

Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks - many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.

- Ron Fournier, Associated Press, September 20, 2008

Theorem: The amount of time conservatives spend talking about the Bradley Effect is inversely proportional to the fortunes of their candidate.

- Nate Silver, September 19, 2008

Today's AP story wasn't exactly about the so-called "Bradley Effect" or "Wilder Effect," a popular theory in the 1980s and 1990s that posited that some white Americans lie to pollsters claiming they will support African-American candidates but vote then against them in the secrecy of the ballot box.

The theory - if it was true back then - has been very thoroughly disproved in recent years, and today we'll walk you through all the documentation you need to debunk it when asked about it by others.

But with the McCain-Palin ticket sinking in the polls, and the financial crisis sucking the oxygen out of the culture war "issues" on all sides, with the economy now front and center as the dominant campaign issue, we're hearing increasing mention of the so-called "Bradley Effect," the so-called "Wilder Effect," the so-called "Bradley-Wilder Effect" (all names for the same 20th century theory).

And now, the Associated Press and its unethical reporter Ron Fournier are transparently attempting to turn the November election (and, if their attempted arson is successful, its aftermath for years to come) into a wedge to divide, polarize and set back race relations in the United States of America more than four decades.

Everybody take a deep breath and repeat after me: The race card is not working. It's not going to work. And we're not going to take the bait being dangled out in front of us by racially prejudiced provocateurs like Fournier: he wants us to spread his gasoline to make his arson fire bigger; we're going to hose water on it - and on him - instead.

This weekend, we have two sets of homework assignments for Field Hands, the first outlined in this post.

Step One: To arm and educate yourselves with the true facts demonstrating that the AP poll disproves Fournier's racially incendiary claims.

Step Two: To similarly arm yourself to be able to demonstrate that the so-called "Bradley Effect" (in all its names) has not been a serious factor for 15 years or more.

You will develop the talking points to explain the true facts to your neighbors, family and friends whenever it comes up. The "white Americans won't vote for a black man" canard is bogus, and, frankly, even if it were to be a factor, there is an equal and opposite force at play that is the Obama grassroots organization.

Please go HERE FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE, which is full of links and charts that I just can't transfer. And show Al some love and appreciation for this takedown. DIGG the article and share it.

I've said it before: when I realized that AP had not only distorted but completely LIED about Senator Obama's speech in Hampton, VA, in October 2007, I knew that I would never take a word associated with AP seriously where Obama is concerned. I suggest that you arch the eyebrow too.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I didn't expect that the number of White Democrats who are in this group would be as high as 1/3. I knew there was a significant number...but not that high. It explains a lot regarding what happened in the Primaries, and why Clinton was so successful playing on racial fears. I'm sure Clintons internal polling back then was basically telling her the same things that this report is saying. It explains why she did the things she did.

On one hand, it appears that the article is attempting to shape public opinion by stoking fears. It's interesting to bring this up now... but then again, there have been a string of articles and reports on this problem.

And I have stated before that Blacks have not helped Obama by perpetuating many of the stereotypes that haunt Black folks - That's why I have a tendancy to be mad as Hell about Rap culture...because I know that it's damaging to the big picture in exactly this way.

But on the other hand, there may be enough White voters this time who might be willing to vote their interests rather than their fears and prejudice's - things are just too bad for many Americans right now. In fact, I was thinking this week that if Obama wins, we might have to honor George W. as a Black History hero (tongue in cheek of course). Because only a Bush administration with the kind of huge failures it has had, could have made an Obama "Change" campaign, and an eventual Obama Presidency even possible. You would be hard pressed to think of any other scenario where a Black man could be elected in this Country.

Also this might make Whites (esp. White Democrats) work even harder to disprove the information in the report...information that has already been trickling out over the past 18 months, confirming what many of us already knew and feared. White Dems (most of them) don't want to be seen as supporting the same kind of racial divide that we saw demonstrated (just by the crowd) at the Republican Convention. This undercuts the Progressive image of the Party.

Lastly... luckily for Obama, this problem is very geographical... or at least it seems to be. This will work in his favor. If these feelings were harbored by folks more evenly across the board, he would be in trouble... not to say that he's not in trouble now because of this problem, but it is more manageable for him at this point.

There are several factors that work in Obama's favor despite the prejudice:

1. White Democrats/Independents in the Northeast and the West are not as driven by these fears... they are much more practical voters. And I would guess that because Whites in these areas have been exposed to a wider range of cultures, they are more tolerant. They don't have a level of prejudice powerful enough to control their voting. However, when you get to the South... voters are less practical, and are much more driven by ideology, racial identity, tradition, etc. They haven't been exposed to as many different races of many different cultures, etc... and they tend to be less tolerant. They vote accordingly.

2. States in the West and Southwest have more hispanics which helps lift Obama in the polling.

3. States in the Northeast, and West have more college educated Whites. It seems that college educated Whites are more willing to give Obama a chance. This is why he has done fairly well in States with higher concentrations of college educated voters.

4. White voters in the Midwest, although they are often ideological voters, have shown that they may be tolerant enough to listen to what Obama has to say...what he has to offer. Many midwestern States are particularly threatened by the nations economic problems... these are States with economies that literally keep the Country going... from Farming to Manufacturing... and they have been feeling the pinch under the Bush Administration over the last several years. Many of these voters realize that McCain would be 4 more years of the same. Depending on the State, voters in the Midwest might be willing to be more practical for once... That is certainly the case in Iowa.

But this report is troubling...and it explains why States in the Midwest (which should be Democratic) are so close in the polls... States like Michigan, Minnesota, Wyoming, and States in the East like Pennsylvania. There is no doubt that these States would be solidly Democrat if the Dem candidate were White....and the Democrats would probably be leading in Ohio and Florida.

If Obama loses Ohio and Florida (which is likely) it will be because of his Race.... no doubt about it. I came to that conclusion months ago. The number of people in those States who will vote based on their prejudice, will probably outnumber the margin of victory for McCain. Take race out of the equation (if the Dems offered a White candidate) McCain would be trounced in Ohio, Florida, and Penn.

I am hoping that the Bradley Effect does not take control of the November election. It would be a national tragedy...and might be the nail in the coffin for the U.S. in terms of its image around the World...on many different levels.