Thursday, March 27, 2008


INSIDER ADVANTAGE - Barack Obama's speech about race impressed many who witnessed it or read it. But most of America did neither, and many of them -- white and black -- were less persuaded of the speech's capacity to heal racial wounds, or to put the issue of race behind Obama as he continues his quest for the White House. That's according to a new poll by Insider Advantage - Majority Opinion.

First, we screened poll respondents to find those who were aware that Obama's pastor was in the news. A startling 82% knew about Obama's speech, and about the controversy surrounding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Of those who knew about the controversy and the speech, we asked, "Taking all this into account, are you more or less likely to support Obama for president?"

Less likely (52%) More likely (19%) About the same (27%) No opinion (2%). . .

Most startling is that blacks by 56% to 31% said the speech made them less likely to vote for him. . .

Democrats disapproved 48% to 28. . .

The disturbing numbers for Obama are the independent voters. By 56% to 13%, they said they're less likely to vote for him because of the speech.

WHAT'S going on here? Our guess is that while classic liberal voters liked the speech, to many listeners Obama actually did little to help them deal with the issue of ethnicity. A considerable portion, for example, was designed primarily to ease Obama out of his sticky problem with Rev. Wright but that didn't translate well into a broader message. In other words, the speech was more analytical than helpful. - TPR

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