It’s the right question to ask: why doesn’t Obama have a much larger lead?” University of Maryland politics professor James Gimpel said yesterday. “I think the race thing is there. It has to be.”
Vexnews got to the heart of the matter. It appear that Age journalist Ian Munro got it badly wrong misquoting out of context what James Gimpel said. This is James Gimpel's response:
"This is a basic summary of what I said to the reporter in our phone conversation.
First of all, there is plain-and-simple partisanship. That is the foremost consideration and primary determinant of voting behavior. It is a filter through which most campaign events and activity are judged.
Second, there is race. People trust those who are like themselves. That isn’t necessarily racist in the conventional sense you mean below, it’s a matter of favoring what is familiar. How many African Americans will be choosing Obama because he is black? Probably a large share of them. But no one is likely to write a story about that.
There is a noteworthy generational resistance to Obama among older white voters — Democrats and Republicans. I don’t think they are virulently racist, but they aren’t particularly progressive in their diversity views either. Several of my own family members fit into this category, by the way.
Finally, I remarked that many people were undecided, and that these early polls should be taken lightly. Late deciders, often among the most poorly informed voters, commonly decide close elections in the U.S.
This is a bit of an irony, but it’s still true.
All best Jim G.
James G. Gimpel, Editor"
The truth is Obama is slightly ahead, but not much more because the country is 40% solidly Republican, Obama is perhaps the most leftwing Democratic candidate for a generation and he has significantly less experience than John McCain who is also the most socially liberal Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan.
If the Obama campaign is foolish enough to start implying those who aren't with him are racist, it could prove fatal.