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Race Looms Large After Obama Loss

Dems start asking whether a black candidate can win
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2008 8:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – Until recently, Barack Obama seemed to have quashed concerns about the chances of an African-American winning the White House. But as he inches closer to the nomination, more Democrats are beginning to ask whether white and other non-black voters will elect a black man in November. The question has taken on new urgency since Obama's loss in Pennsylvania, writes the New York Times.

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The role of race in the campaign is difficult to assess, as exit poll respondents rarely admit that they refused to vote for a candidate because he is black. But observers say that Obama's race compounds other issues that make lower-class white voters in particular hesitate to back him: his values, ideology, experience, and sometimes elitist image. "Race is intertwined with a broader notion that he is not one of us," said a pollster who has tracked voters' perceptions of Obama. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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