White Obama Support Defies Doubters

44% of white voters swing to Obama
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2008 8:04 AM CST
Two supporters join hands as Barack Obama speaks at a rally in Cincinnati.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – A minority of white voters—44%—are now supporting Barack Obama, but he trails by less than previous Democratic presidential candidates, reports the New York Times, including Bill Clinton. Both the impact of racial attitudes and the proportion of white voters in the electorate have diminished, analysts say. In a recent poll, 80% of whites said an Obama administration would not favor the interests of minorities.

And the Los Angeles Times notes that some white Americans say they're voting for Obama in part because of, not in spite of, his race—seeing it as a vote for diversity, atonement for past treatment of African Americans, and racial healing. It's identity politics, but in reverse, and some conservatives call it a betrayal of the ideal of a colorblind society.