I am still worried about the ways that race is going to play out in the fall election. Today a friend from Blue Jersey reported his conversations at a recent party with a mix of middle-aged and older white New Jerseyans. There were some die-hard Republicans and unwavering Democrats in the mix. Their political preferences were clear. But many of the folks, those independent voters, expressed concerns about supporting a black candidate. My friend was amazed that in a non-media, non-political wonk, non-blogging South Jersey crowd how many people spontaneously raised the spurious Michele Obama "whitey" story. Clearly they missed her witty response:
"I mean 'whitey'? That's something that George Jefferson would say."
The most worrisome question came from one of the party-goers, a moderate who will probably support Obama, opined that he expects that many whites will find it unacceptable to vote for a black candidate no matter what his positions. The question for him--and for the country--is how big is the "some"?
The polls are looking good for Obama right now, including in swing states like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. But it's early--and a lot can happen between now and November. In the meantime, I'm going to worry.