Grudging Acceptance of a Black Planet


Over the weekend the Politico's Ben Smith uncovered some evidence that people who don't like blacks—full-blown, get-off-my-lawn racists—might just vote for Obama anyway. Post-Wall Street crisis, polling shows some overlap between people who express overt racism and people who'll vote for the black guy anyway.

"I wouldn't want a mixed marriage for my daughter, but I'm voting for Obama," the wife of a retired Virginia coal miner, Sharon Fleming, told the Los Angeles Times recently.

One Obama volunteer told Politico after canvassing the working-class white Philadelphia neighborhood of Fishtown recently, "I was blown away by the outright racism, but these folks are … undecided. They would call him a [racial epithet] and mention how they don't know what to do because of the economy."

When there is overt anti-Obama racism, it blows straight onto the front pages. But there simply can't be that many racists ruling the guy out completely if he's fighting for West Virginia, the state where he lost every single county to Hillary Clinton. (He's polling at 43 percent, which is as much as the very white John Kerry got in 2004.)