Poll: 7 of 10 Say Candidates’ Race Not a Factor in Their Vote

Paul Steinhauser, CNN, October 24, 2008

A new national survey suggests that race won’t be a major factor in the outcome of the presidential election.

Seven out of 10—or 70 percent—of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. Survey released Friday said the race of the candidates will not be a factor in their vote for president this year.

That 70 percent figure is up 9 points from July, when the same question was asked. Only 5 percent of those polled said race will be the single most important factor in their choice for president, with 11 percent saying it’s one of several important factors, and 13 percent indicating race will be a minor factor in their vote.

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“First, don’t assume that everyone who says that race is factor in their votes are voting against Obama. Some voters are choosing Obama because of his race. {snip}” said Keating Holland, CNN polling director.

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“Take all this with a grain of salt—race is a complicated topic and polls may not reveal each respondent’s true feelings on this hot-button issue. Nonetheless, the poll suggests that race may largely be an influence on Americans who aren’t typical Democratic voters, and that race works both for and against Obama in roughly equal proportions,” Holland said.

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