Monday, August 4, 2008

Only 22% Say McCain Ad Racist, But Over Half (53%) See Obama Dollar-bill Comment That Way

Original Link:

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.

However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.

Both campaigns expressed a desire to move beyond the recent flap. On Saturday Obama backed off the racism charge and accused McCain's campaign of cynicism instead. He also rejected McCain's charge that the Democrat himself had brought race into the campaign with his dollar bill comment.

Two months after Obama clinched the Democratic Presidential Nomination, the race for the White House remains amazingly close in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Not surprisingly, the McCain ad generates significantly different perceptions along racial and ethnic lines. Most African-American voters—58%--saw the McCain ad as racist. Just 18% of white voters and 14% of all other voters shared that view. To watch the ad, click HERE.

As for Obama’s comment, 53% of white voters saw it as racist, as did 44% of African-Americans and 61% of all other voters.

There were also significant partisan divides. Democrats were evenly divided as to whether the McCain commercial was racist, and they were also evenly divided on the Obama comment. Republicans, by an 87% to 4% margin, rejected the notion that the McCain campaign ad was racist. But, by a 67% to 26% margin, GOP voters believe that Obama’s comment was racist.

Unaffiliated voters, by a five-to-one margin, said the McCain ad was not racist. By a much narrower 50% to 38% margin, unaffiliateds viewed Obama’s comment as racist.

Overall, just 22% of voters believe that most Americans are racist. That view is shared by 32% of Democrats, 20% of unaffiliated voters and 12% of Republicans. African-American voters are evenly divided on the question.

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