Race Relations

It’s an article of faith, repeated ad nauseam in certain liberal circles, that a sizeable segment of the U.S. electorate wants Obama to fail in office because of his skin color. This is an ugly argument, with little supporting evidence, employed cynically both as a campaign wedge issue and as a way of inoculating the president from criticism—as if any U.S. president has ever been so shielded.

It might surprise those making such claims that when actual Republicans are together in private they express almost the opposite sentiment: they are implacably opposed to Obama because of his big-government policies, knee-jerk identity politics and liberalism, and their hope was that America’s first African-American president would be someone with whom they could have found more common ground.

That said, the police shootings of young blacks that roiled this country through much of 2014 have shown all but the most partisan Americans that Obama’s election did not miraculously heal longstanding racial wounds. And make no mistake, independent white voters in this country still want Obama to succeed in office, and it is among these voters that his popularity ticked upward in the last two months.