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Franklin on Race and Obama


Our own Charles Franklin makes a prominent appearance in Ben Smith's Politico piece on some "unlikely" supporters of Barack Obama: "white voters with negative views of African-Americans." The key paragraphs:

“What you see is it’s perfectly possible to hold a negative view of at least one aspect of African-Americans and yet simultaneously prefer Obama,” said Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Racial feelings are not as cut and dried — not as black and white — as people often say.”

Franklin explored those contradictions in a large, national survey taken in mid-September, when the Illinois Democratic senator's rival, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), led in many polls and the nation’s economic woes had not yet produced a deep crisis. The poll asked voters whether they agreed with the statement that “African-Americans often use race as an excuse to justify wrongdoing." About a fifth of white voters said they “strongly agreed.” Yet among those who agreed, 23 percent said they’d be supporting Obama.

“This result is reasonable if you believe that race is not as monolithic an effect as we might easily assume,” Franklin said, noting that 22 percent of those who "strongly disagreed" said they'd be supporting McCain.

 

Comments
s.b.:

And people's voting preference in this election may have absolutely nothing to do with race. It may just be that they think one person is better for the job than the other. Yes, not everything is black or white, hopefully a lot less than the MSM at the service of one campaign would lead us to believe.

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Rob Heartth:

I do not understand how agreeing with that statement would classify you as a racist, or someone with a negative view of African-Americans.

I agree with the statement, but I think it's entirely human - people of all races and ethnicities go looking for excuses, and being a member of a historically underprivileged group is a good one, that you can milk way past its expiration date.

If white people could use the same excuse, they surely would.

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DTM:

@Rob Heartth

Pollster these days find it tricky to identify people with negative views of African-Americans because some people tend not to be honest if you ask more direct questions. So, pollsters basically have to ask questions which do not make it clear that answering a certain way would result in the relevant classification.

But addressing this specific question, one thing you might note is the word "often". In other words, it would be one thing to agree with the proposition "African-Americans SOMETIMES use race as an excuse to justify wrongdoing." But it is another thing to agree with the proposition "African-Americans OFTEN use race as an excuse to justify wrongdoing."

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litho:

A canvasser's report from Western PA appears to bear out Franklin's polling data. As recounted by Sean Quinn yesterday over at 538.com, it went like this:

So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er."

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I think that McCain is trying to use terrorism as a means to make race an issue for whites who might vote for Obama. Look at McCain's face when he misidentifies Ayers as the person who hosted the venue for the launch of Obama's campaign (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2vVFYYnNto)
If you look at his face, I feel that you can see that he is definitely trying to use other means to accomplish the same objective. From a polling perspective, I think it will work better in some parts of the country than others- but the bigger question is, could robocalls on an unprecedented scale and of the horrific nature as are now being used- can these really shift the poll numbers?

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Sean:

Heres a good way to find out if they are racist. Ask them if they think Obama is Muslim, or Arab, or a Terrorist. "Muslim" is the new N word these days.

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Racism has very often been cited as a cause for the defeat of Obama. But Americans are more educated, cultured and cultivated now. The Press and TV are more civilized.

Consider the People at FoxNews that have been not so fond of Obama :

They try to be conciliatory and invite Many Black Friends to their shows. They constantly promote themselves as non racists and constantly condemn racism and are very incensed when they are called "racists".

I give these "Fox" guys the benefit of the doubt and I think that they are changing for the best. Under a White House with a black family inside, the "that one" dislikers will become even better guys and sweeter than they are now towards the "Otherness".

They have to become so, because there is a Big Demographic Revolution underway. The White Population is ageing.

These TV guys are adapting to a new Racial Situation, a Silent Compact or Covenant.

So the low culture people and the less educated are exposed to lots of "good will" propaganda among races and ethnics.

And the less tolerant in the media see that they are going to fall in big trouble if they don't pay lip service to Racial Harmony. Call it Hypocrisy or Whatever but they have little wings budding from their shoulders.

http://milenials.blogspot.com/

Vicente Duque

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boomdoom:

Agree with Franklin assessment, as a non AA and non white, there are some aspects of AA that are concerning to me as well as some aspects of the whites, but that is no white or black opinion of people, eventually it will be totally based on a specific person. The generalized opinion is basically holds good before knowing a person. But once we got to know a person we would reset the generalized opinion and develop an opinion about that particular person.

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zen:


I think some people are beyond their collective consciousness... Obama is one of those. Maybe it is due to his biracial background but also due to his own self-search which led him to go beyond any category.

That's why white people can connect with him as much as black people can connect with him.

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JFactor:

Race is a very, very complicated issue as we all know. It's really hard if not impossible to say how race will impact the race (haha). It's still a factor of course but just how racist the Americans still are - polls can't really answer the question.
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http://www.internationalpoliticstoday.com

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whitetower:

just how racist the Americans still are - polls can't really answer the question.

The fact that a racial minority is even the candidate of a major party says something about race being a non-issue in America.

No European democracy would ever nominate a racial minority to be a president or leader of his party -- none have and none ever will.

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