Obama's Race a Plus, for White Voters

Yet black voters prefer Hillary by almost 10 points, suspicious of his white appeal
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2007 5:06 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., talks to supporters during a town hall meeting with local residents, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007, in Fairfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Obama’s skin color is helping, not hurting, his drive to win white votes, says the Wall Street Journal. Whites see him as proof of racial progress, the Journal claims—a post-Civil Rights politician who inspires in part by ducking racial issues. “Obama is running an emancipating campaign,” one Democrat said. “He is emancipating white voters to vote for a black candidate.”

But the Journal admits that Obama is a "wild card"—who, like Tennessee senate hopeful Harold Ford Jr., may gain white praise while running but end up impeded by race on election day. And blacks, who favor Hillary by almost 10 points, are skeptical of Obama for appealing to white voters. “Obama doesn't really push people to consider what diversity really is,” said one black professor. “He is close enough to what is a tolerated white norm.”