2
   

Poll: Among whites, Democrats think more highly of blacks than Republicans

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 10:11 pm
A new AP-Yahoo News poll about the elections included a whole section focusing on the role of race.

You can read all about it here: Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama. There's links there too to the poll methodology and the full poll results.

Now BBB already did a thread with a copy/paste of that full article. But what caught my attention was the graph that came with the article, which she didnt post. And it caught my attention especially because it clearly showed something that the accompanying article, interestingly enough, never touched upon. Namely, that when asked about their impressions of "blacks", white Democrats were shown to have significantly more positive impressions and associations than white Republicans and Independents.

Now the article does point out that there's still plenty of white Democrats who have negative race-based reactions towards blacks or the idea of blacks as well; that's not in question. In fact, much of the article focuses on the hurdle that this could potentially throw in Obama's way. After all, Republicans who have negative impulsive reactions on the basis of race wont vote for Obama, but not necessarily for that reason; they have many reasons not to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. But Democrats who have negative race-based reactions, on the other hand, could end up voting for McCain even if they might well have voted for the Dem candidate had he been white.

Those are all valid points. But it still struck me that, even with all the politically topical spotlighting of potential white Democratic "deserters" crossing over to McCain because of race, white Democrats on the whole come out as less burdened by negative prejudices than other whites. And while the article may not emphasise this, it sure seems worth pointing out here, considering the endlessly repeated talking point from the right that actually, it's the Dems who are the most racist, and the Republicans are the good guys on race.

Here's the graph - since Yahoo News stories tend to disappear over time I've put a copy on Imageshack:


http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/3127/appollraceobamakm7.jpg


Now every general association with "blacks" or "whites", collectively, can be said to be racist, whether it's a negative or positive association. But it still seems to me a wholly different kettle of fish if people associate "blacks" with specifically negative traits, than if they give the nod on associating neutral or positive traits with them.

Of course, you have to keep in mind that the differences between the whites of different partisan identification here is just a gradual one. On most of the associations, the difference between Democrats and Republicans seems to be about 10%. Like, 15% of white Dems have a specific negative association, while 25% of white Republicans have it; or 15% of white Reps express a positive association, when 25% of white Dems do. So it's obviously just a question of extent rather than some kind of all or nothing, black and white thing (um, no pun intended).

But still, the fact that significantly more of the former thing (associating "blacks" with specifically negative traits), and less of the latter thing (giving the nod on associating neutral or positive traits with them) occurs among Republicans than among Democrats seems significant. If nothing else, the next time Republican supporters are groping for why blacks are still opting to vote Democratic en masse, they might keep this in mind. Maybe some part of the reason is that many blacks are aware of which party they can at least expect less race-based hostility in.
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 10:16 pm
@nimh,
It's weird that independents scored more negatively than Republicans on some of those questions.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 10:37 pm
@Robert Gentel,
It is also difficult to determine whether the motive for answering was based on prejudice or a personal sense of reality. The fact is that blacks as a demographic have one of the highest drop out rates in school. Does 'smart in school' translate in the poll as opinion based on race or opinion based on reality of a lot of poor performance in school? The fact is that the crime rate in urban neighborhoods with large black populations is often much higher than the national average. Does an assessment of violent or less law abiding in the poll translate as prejudiced? Or reality based on known statistics?

In truth I think there are likely components of both reflected there.

Right or wrong, I do think Republicans and independents are more likely to blame black people for not solving more of their own problems. I think Democrats are more likely to see black people as victims in need of rescue.

How that might affect a poll like that, I don't know.

I did read the whole dang thing though and it was very comprehensive and very interesting.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2008 04:41 am
@Robert Gentel,
Dunno, not necessarily...

One of the criticisms of the poll was that they did not filter for registered or likely voters. The critics noted that registered voters tend, on average, to be better educated and more closely follow politics and the news; and observed that racial prejudices tend to show up in polls in higher frequency among lower-educated and low-information groups. So they argued that the poll overstated the effect racial prejudices will have on the elections, by going on data that includes a lot of people who are among the more likely to have such prejudices but will not actually vote anyway.

I dont know how Independent voters compare to Republicans and Democrats in terms of education. But they do tend to be lower-information voters, less engaged and less informed about politics and the news than either Democrats or Republicans. I mean, when you say "Independent" you tend to imagine some consciously independent-minded spirit who refuses to think inside the box, but many independents are just people who arent interested in stuff and dont know enough to care or care enough to know.

I'm speculating here, but I can imagine that there's a fair share of such voters, in particular, who are more likely to react on instinctive/emotional impulses like race-based ones than your average Democrat or Republican. So that sub-group might drag the average for all Independent voters down to the level of Republicans.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2008 04:50 am
I guess everyone has a right to his own opinion.





David
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2008 06:30 am
I'd suggest that they do the poll again when the Democratic nominee for president is not black if they want honest results.
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2008 06:56 am
One thesis would be that the Democrats are more class conscious and reject the "divide and conquer" attempt to pit whites versus blacks the GOP has used since Nixon's Southern strategy in 1968, and the pitting of white nativists versus Latinos/Latinas since the late 80's.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2008 09:59 am
@nimh,
nimh, That you would conclude that a voter is better "educated" is really not supported by any studies, is it?
nimh
 
  3  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2008 10:18 am
@cicerone imposter,
That's what I read yeah, that registered voters on average are more highly educated than those who arent registered to vote. I dont know where though, not sure if I can retrieve the cite.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2008 10:21 am
@nimh,
Fair nuf. Thanks.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 05:47 am
Some Republicans think that Hispanics think "consider themselves above blacks". And thus won't vote for a black president.
See source: BBC: Talking America

http://i35.tinypic.com/2d0jv36.jpg
From the frontpage of today's Albuquerque Journal

Online story at the Albuquerque Journal HERE
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 08:39 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:

Some Republicans think that Hispanics think "consider themselves above blacks".
And thus won't vote for a black president.
See source: BBC: Talking America

The ones whom I have known from Spain and South America
certainly have taken that vu for many years and decades.
After the election, we can check the applicable demographic.





David
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Why Race? - Discussion by snood
Im white . - Discussion by shewolfnm
what are you? - Discussion by dyslexia
Be Black - Question by Victor Murphy
Fear of a Black President - Discussion by snood
Ten questions about race - Discussion by nimh
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Poll: Among whites, Democrats think more highly of blacks than Republicans
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 04/19/2019 at 09:07:06