The Obama Skeptics


Via Andrew and Jon Chait, a Pew poll that quantifies the sense that some of the people who have a problem with Obama just don't like black people very much:

White Democrats who hold unfavorable views of Obama are much more likely than those who have favorable opinions of him to say that equal rights for minorities have been pushed too far; they also are more likely to disapprove of interracial dating, and are more concerned about the threat that immigrants may pose to American values. In addition, nearly a quarter of white Democrats (23%) who hold a negative view of Obama believe he is a Muslim.

Obama's campaign has generally, I think, refrained from chalking up anti-Obama sentiment to racism because they know perfectly well that if he gets the nomination he needs to run in a country where the electorate's only about 10 percent black. Still, conservative views about race don't seem to be nearly as big an influence on anti-Obama sentiments as are conservative views about national security -- it's the "fight for U.S. right or wrong" crowd that's really heavily represented in the anti-Obama coalition. It's also fascinating to see that Democrats who agree that "men make better leaders" have a net negative view of Obama; apparently that kind of retrograde cultural conservatism sufficiently correlates with anti-Obama sentiments that even running against a woman doesn't turn those people into Obama fans.