Obama's Race: The 2008 Election and the Dream of a Post-Racial America

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University of Chicago Press, Nov 15, 2010 - History - 200 pages
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Barack Obama’s presidential victory naturally led people to believe that the United States might finally be moving into a post-racial era. Obama’s Race—and its eye-opening account of the role played by race in the election—paints a dramatically different picture.

The authors argue that the 2008 election was more polarized by racial attitudes than any other presidential election on record—and perhaps more significantly, that there were two sides to this racialization: resentful opposition to and racially liberal support for Obama. As Obama’s campaign was given a boost in the primaries from racial liberals that extended well beyond that usually offered to ideologically similar white candidates, Hillary Clinton lost much of her longstanding support and instead became the preferred candidate of Democratic racial conservatives. Time and again, voters’ racial predispositions trumped their ideological preferences as John McCain—seldom described as conservative in matters of race—became the darling of racial conservatives from both parties. Hard-hitting and sure to be controversial, Obama’s Race will be both praised and criticized—but certainly not ignored.

  

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Contents

Introduction Obama as PostRacial?
1
1 Background Race in Presidential Elections
11
2 Racialized Momentum The Two Sides of Racialization in the Primaries
29
3 The General Election The Two Sides of Racialization and ShortTerm Political Dynamics
52
4 The Spillover of Racialization
75
5 The Racialized Voting Patterns of Racial and Ethnic Minorities
94
6 The Paradox of Gender Traditionalists Support for Hiliary Clinton
115
7 Beyond Black and White Obama as Other
127
8 Is the Obama Presidency PostRacial? Evidence from His First Year in Office
142
Appendix
161
Notes
169
References
185
Index
197
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Michael Tesler is a graduate student in political science at UCLA. David O. Sears is distinguished professor of psychology and political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of numerous books.

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