The strongest predictor in both groups was intergroup anxiety. In this study, as well as in others (W. G. Stephan&Stephan, 2000), fear of interaction with members of another group was associated with disliking the outgroup. Intergroup anxiety is the most self-interested of the threats in the integrated threat theory. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that for young people who function in integrated environments, anxiety concerning outgroup interaction should play a more prominent role in predicting negative racial attitudes than realistic or symbolic threats, which concern threats to the ingroup as a whole. Nonetheless, in both racial groups, realistic and symbolic threats did predict negative racial attitudes.
Exit and other polls focusing on for whom Whites are likely to vote may, as has been suggested, be infected by political correctness and therefore inaccurately reflect the attitudes questioned in the AP-Yahoo News poll; the disinclination of some respondents to say that they will not vote for Senator Obama may distort the polls to give Senator Obama a greater statistical popularity than he realistically has. Conversely, the attitudes of Blacks reflected in pre-election and exit polls may suffer from a similar distortion. Or, maybe not. It is an hypothesis objectively subject to neither proof nor disproof, nor even very useful speculation.
Should the race of a candidate make a difference? How about gender? The answer should be obvious; lest it go without saying because it is so obvious, my answer is, "of course not;" nor, in a perfect society, would these things be significant. Race and gender standing alone have absolutely nothing to do with whether a person will make a good President or Vice President. Yet, it has been argued that race is the only basis upon which Senator Obama might lose the election. A contrary view is expressed here.
How about a candidate's views on race, gender and what to do concerning matters related to them? Ah, now that is different. A candidate's views toward racial preferences could well make a legitimate difference. So might an affirmation or rejection of "Black Liberation Theology," "Negro inferiority" or the view that "Women should stay home and breed." Appeals based solely on a candidate's race should not make a difference. I could not in good conscience vote for any candidate who asked me to vote for him on account of his race or for her on account of her gender. Nor could I vote for any candidate who asked me to vote against his or her opponent for these reasons. There are far, far better reasons to vote for or against a candidate than his race or gender. Their views on the significance of race and gender are, as I said, different.