Economy Trumps Race Even for Some Racists

Voters openly negative on African Americans
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2008 12:31 PM CDT
Barack Obama waves as he walks on the tarmac before boarding a plane at Midway Airport in Chicago.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It looks like the economic crisis has gained Barack Obama a surprising number of supporters among those who might be considered racists, Politico reports. Even before the events of the past few weeks bolstered the Dem's numbers, a poll showed that a quarter of respondents who expressed negative views of African-Americans would still vote for the senator. “The economy is trumping racism,” says a law school dean and former Baltimore mayor.

 “A lot of people who we might think wouldn’t vote their pocketbook because of race—now they are.” Obama volunteers report encounters with unapologetic racists who say they're still undecided because of the economy. For some voters, Obama's exotic ancestry, bearing, and accomplishments exempt him from their broadly negative views of blacks. “Not all whites associate the generic African-American with Obama,” one race-watcher notes. "Race is not as monolithic an effect as we might easily assume,” a professor adds.