The Campaign Spot

Polls Show Very Different Reactions To Obama’s Speech

Rarely will you see such wildly disparate polling results as in the wake of Obama’s speech.


Sixty-nine percent of voters who have heard or read about Obama’s speech say he did a good job addressing the issue of race relations, and 63 percent of voters following the events say they agree with Obama’s views on race relations. Seventy-one percent say he did a good job explaining his relationship with Wright.
When registered voters were asked if Obama would unite the country, however, 52 percent said yes – down from 67 percent last month.

But the results of the latest Insider Advantage poll on the Obama-Wright controversy are jaw-dropping.
First, 82 percent of respondents are aware of “the situation regarding Sen. Barack Obama’s church pastor and the past public remarks he has made,” and somehow, 83 percent are aware of “Obama’s speech on Tuesday, in which he addressed the issue of his pastor.” (Okay, who’s the one percent who knew about the speech but not the ‘situation’?)
Asked of all voters, “taking all this into account, are you more likely or less likely to support Obama for president” — 20 percent more likely, 49 percent less likely, 27 percent about the same.
Among those who answered that they were “aware” to the first two questions, 19 percent said they were more likely to support Obama, 52 percent said they were less likely, and 27 percent the same.
Among whites, the “less likely” answer came from 51.3 percent. Among blacks, it was 56.2 percent. (!) Among Hispanics, 54.5 percent. (The sub-sample sizes for blacks and Hispanics were 85 and 46, so it’s possible that maybe it’s too small a sample to get a really good reading on these demographics).
Among Republicans, the “less likely” crowd was 53.7 percent, among Democrats it was 47.6 percent, among Independents it was 55.6 percent.
The pollsters themselves seem quite surprised by the results:

“In my weekly Creators Syndicate column that I penned just hours before this poll, I wrote that I had no idea how the country would react to the Obama speech,” said Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage.

“And I’m always wary of polling race. People aren’t always completely forthcoming on such a touchy subject.
“But there’s no way around the numbers as they read all across the board. They are consistent in every demographic we measured. Most people didn’t have a gut positive reaction to Obama’s speech,” he said.

The pollsters at InsiderAdvantage note that they “carefully crafted the poll’s questions. We never mentioned the words ‘race’ or ‘controversy,’ or explained what all the fuss was about. Our first question was simply, ‘Are you aware of the situation regarding Sen. Barack Obama’s church pastor and the past public remarks he has made?’”
Is it possible that some folks don’t want to admit to a pollster that Obama’s speech made them less likely to support him?


The Latest