Monday, January 29, 2007

Who's Next?

Ready for a (Fill-in-the-Blank) President?
By Clarence Page January 29, 2007

CHICAGO-A conservative Midwestern talk radio host recently asked me a question that I'm certain haunts many minds these days: "If Barack Obama doesn't get elected, are black people going to say he lost because he is half-black?"

Sure, I responded. Some black people will presume the worst if the Illinois senator's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination fails.... Welcome to the subtext of Campaign 2008. In that exchange, you can hear echoes off a canyon-like perception gap that still divides the races.

For example, a Newsweek poll taken before Christmas found that 86 percent of registered voters would vote for a qualified woman for president and even more, 93 percent, say the same for a qualified African-American. But when asked whether "America is ready to elect a woman president," the "yes" answers dropped to only 55 percent - with 7 percent fewer women than men!

When sensitive issues like race and gender are involved, polls don't tell us the truth; they only measure our perceptions of the truth. More....

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