Democracy Corps, in its 18-page report on "The Very Separate World Of Conservative Republicans," based on focus groups with conservative Americans and released today, outlines many beliefs and psychological facets central to the conservative Republican mind--and racism isn't one of them.
The study breaks down the contemporary conservative anti-Obama drive into several pillars--Obama's alleged deception and hidden agenda, the fast pace with which he's pushing that agenda, his desire to drive government to the brink of failure and exert governmental control over everything, and his alleged ultimate goal of socialism and an end to liberties. But, when given the opportunity to discuss race, even the older, white, non-college-educated Americans (who, the firm says, "score highest on scales measuring racial prejudice") didn't raise it as an issue. Rather, they brought up the media's consumption with race as a motivator of anti-Obama sentiment, and the notion that they can't criticize Obama on his merits because they'll be labeled racist.
Democracy Corps, the research/polling/strategy firm founded by James Carville and Stanley Greenberg, doesn't say positively that racism is absent from absent from the contemporary conservative movement, but it does seem to imply it. And while they may be right that it's time to move on from the now-repetitive "Are Obama's critics racist?" media narrative, the issue is a bit more complicated than that conclusion, derived from these findings, gives it credit for.