Politics and Race: Obama’s Hurdle

Barack Obama looks ever more likely to take the Democratic nomination for President this year, having won every race since Super Tuesday, and with polls showing him closing the gap with Hillary Clinton in the upcoming races in Ohio and Texas. This raises the question: in a general election, will Americans vote for a black candidate to be the next President of the United States?

Polls done on this topic in recent years have shown that an overwhelming percentage of Americans (94% according to a recent Gallup Poll) are willing to vote for a black candidate. While this sounds encouraging, it is important to look at this number from another perspective. What percentage of Americans are willing to vote for a white, Protestant male? Though polls on this are unavailable, the implicit answer is close to 100%, since every president but JFK (and arguably Thomas Jefferson) has been a white Protestant male, and since almost all Presidential candidates fall into this group.
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