Jason Johnson commented on the impact of race on the 2008 Democratic presidential primary in Ohio. Johnson was interviewed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer for the article “Race mattered more in Ohio primary than in any other state.”
Experts don’t deny the influence of race and prejudice, but they question its power in the Tuesday primary.
“Race, of course, plays a role in the election,” said Jason Johnson, a former professional campaign strategist and a professor of political science and communications at Hiram College. “But did it play a defining role in Ohio?”
Obama was never ahead in the race for Ohio, and Clinton dominated the same southern counties that supported her husband in two presidential campaigns, Johnson noted. Name recognition, gender, the economy and myriad other factors stoked the Ohio vote, polls indicate.
But it’s indeed naive to dismiss bigotry, Johnson said.
“There is going to be a hard-core group of people in any community who are not going to vote for a black man, period,” he said.