May 26, 2011 Leave a comment
Matt Yglesias extracts the key finding from recent paper by Political Scientist Alan Abamowitz. Racial attitudes strongly predict attitudes towards Obama even when controlling for partisanship and ideology:
The results in Table 2 show that racial resentment was strongly related to ratings of Obama and that this relationship persists even after controlling for party identification and ideology. Regardless of party identification or ideology, whites who scored high on the racial resentment scale had substantially more negative opinions of Obamathan those who scored low on the racial resentment scale.
Obviously, this does not mean that a person’s negative opinion of Obama is driven by race, but it does mean that, in the aggregate you really cannot deny the fact that racial attitudes are strongly related to how Americans think about Obama. Or as Abamowitz puts it: “These results indicate that Barack Obama’s race remains a major influence on how he is perceived and evaluated by the white Americans.”