Obama Still Not Convincing Many Disenchanted Voters

Even though all current players in the presidential bid have discounted rumors that Barack Obama is a Muslim, 23% of Democratic voters who have a negative opinion of Obama still believe the rumors.

This issue is but one of many in which Republicans and those supporting Hillary Clinton believe Obama has not adequately addressed recent controversies such as the Jeremiah Wright issue.

According to the most recent Pew Report,

More than eight-in-ten supporters of Obama (84%) who have heard about the controversy over Wright’s sermons say he has done an excellent or good job of dealing with the situation. Reactions from Clinton supporters, and Republicans, are on balance negative; however, 43% of Clinton voters and a third of Republican voters who have heard about the affair express
positive opinions about Obama’s handling of the situation.

The survey finds that, in general, Obama has a highly favorable image among Democratic voters, including white Democrats. But while Obama’s personal image is more favorable than Clinton’s, certain social beliefs and attitudes among older, white, working-class Democratic voters are associated with his lower levels of support among this group.

In particular, white Democrats who hold unfavorable views of Obama are much more likely than those who have favorable opinions
of him to say that equal rights for minorities have been pushed too far; they also are more likely to disapprove of interracial dating, and are more concerned about the threat that immigrants may pose to American values. In addition, nearly a quarter of white Democrats (23%) who hold a negative view of Obama believe he is a Muslim. Less educated and older white Democrats, who have not backed Obama in most primary elections, hold these values more commonly than do other Democrats.

These patterns suggest the potential for future reverberations from the Wright controversy if Obama wins the Democratic nomination.

Although Obama has managed to secure the majority of his supporters, he will have to fair better in his appeal to those outside of his support group if he plans on gaining momentum.