Study: Racial bias cost Obama 3 to 5 Points In 2008 Election

Americans’ racial biases cost President Obama between three and five percentage points in the popular vote in 2008, according to a study from Harvard Ph.D. candidate Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. If the entire country held the views of the most racially tolerant communities, Stephens-Davidowitz found, Obama’s share of the popular vote would have risen from 53.7 percent to somewhere between 56.7 percent and 58.7 percent. According to the paper, racial bias took two forms: some Democratic voters stayed home, while other voters who normally would not have voted turned out for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Obama also benefited, however, as the paper estimates black turnout boosted by his candidacy added 1.2 percentage points to his popular vote total.