WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- White support for Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack Obama is so complex that even some avowed racists are backing him, researchers say.
Illustrating the nuanced nature of the racial factor, one survey indicated 23 percent of white voters who strongly agreed with the statement "African-Americans often use race as an excuse to justify wrongdoing" nevertheless said they would vote for Obama, a black U.S. senator from Illinois, Politico reported Sunday.
"What you see is it's perfectly possible to hold a negative view of at least one aspect of African-Americans and yet simultaneously prefer Obama," Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of the survey, told Politico. "Racial feelings are not as cut and dried -- not as black and white -- as people often say."
Obama campaigners say evidence they've gathered suggest there's a significant minority of prejudiced white voters who will put aside their bigotry and vote for the black man because they feel he's the best candidate to deal with the tanking U.S. economy.
"The economy is trumping racism," said Kurt Schmoke, dean of Howard University Law School and a former Baltimore mayor.