Professor Jason Johnson commented on the prospects of white voters in Ohio and Kentucky to vote for Barack Obama as the nation’s first African-American presidential nominee. Johnson was quoted in the Cincinnati Enquirer article “Will Ohio, Ky, vote for a black man?”
Jason Johnson, a political science professor at Hiram College in northern Ohio, said comparing Obama to Powell doesn’t work, mainly because Powell was never really a candidate for president. “There’s no precedent to compare to what Barack Obama has done,” he said.
This time around, Johnson said, people are likely to vote on the issues – a plummeting economy, the mortgage crisis, energy, the war in Iraq. “These are issues where race is not really part of the equation,’’ he said. “They cut across all racial lines.”
But, Johnson said, the resistance of some white voters to voting for a black man for president – particularly in key states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – is something the Obama campaign is taking into consideration.
“They know it is an issue,” Johnson said. “And Barack Obama has been trying to make himself less scary to white voters.