AP: Race Could Play Greater Role in 2012 Presidential Election Than 2008

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A new poll by the Associated Press shows that racism has increased since the last presidential election and could affect President Barack Obama's chances of keeping the White House.

According to The Hill, 51 percent of those polled explicitly expressed negative attitudes toward blacks, higher than the 48 percent who did in 2008. Analysis of the survey by AP showed that Obama could lose as many as 5 percentage points of the popular vote because of anti-black attitudes. It also showed that he could gain 3 points from people who have positive attitudes toward blacks, resulting in a net loss of 2 percentage points.

Two points could easily win or lose the election between Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney. According to daily tracking polls, Romney and Obama are currently tied with 48 percent of the popular vote.

"As much as we'd hope the impact of race would decline over time ... it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago," Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who worked with AP to develop the survey, told the Christian Science Monitor.

The newspaper reports that many blacks are upset with what they see as blatant racism directed toward the president, pointing to things like cartoons or political posters that mock Obama as a monkey or lynch him in effigy.

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