01 October 2008

Obama -- The Race Question

Although many are saying that this Presidential contest is not about race, I still wonder whether race is a simmering issue under the surface that may in fact decide this election. The question may ultimately be, will other factors like the economy trump race as an issue?

Most people when asked a question about race would answer that they are not racist or that race is not an issue. However, when push comes to shove in the ballot box and where no one is watching, will voters vote based on race?

Obama might be leading in most polls at the moment and he is leading comfortably in some. Nevertheless, there is precedent here for a black (African-American for the more politically correct) candidate to be leading a race only to be done over in the ballot box. When Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley, ran for the Governorship of California he was leading comfortably in the polls in the lead-up to the election. Yet, he still lost the election once the counting was complete.

This was 1982, perhaps it is different now. What most pundits believe is that white voters when polled were not acknowledging the fact that they would not vote for a black man. Are things different now?


Bilbo said...

I don't have a problem with Senator Obama's race or with most of his positions on issues. My problem is that he comes with a lot of baggage in the form of the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party. Senator McCain has the same problem with the extreme conservative wing of the Republican party. Our problem is that we're not just getting the individual, we're getting the entire party and the often-outrageous positions it may take. Right now, although I'm basically a "liberal conservative," I'm leaning toward Senator Obama. Unfortunately, a lot of that is a result of the sheer disgust I have for the Republicans and the way they've trashed the Constitution and the country. This is the most important election in my lifetime, but the one that offers us the least qualified sets of candidates (on both sides). Sigh...

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

As an Australian living in Indonesia the issues in many ways are academic as I am not a US citizen and I do not get to vote!

Race is not an issue for me either. This post follows on from an earlier one about racism in Australia. I was pondering the idea that people do not always tell the truth when they are surveyed or polled.

It is the most important presidential election for some time and both candidates are somewhat lacking on various fronts.

A good cabinet to fill in the gaps, perhaps?