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From a new Associated Press report:

Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them “lazy,” “violent,” responsible for their own troubles.

The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about two and one-half percentage points.

Certainly, Republican John McCain has his own obstacles: He’s an ally of an unpopular president and would be the nation’s oldest first-term president. But Obama faces this: 40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents.

Read the full article here. Also, Glenn Loury and John McWhorter continue their engrossing conversation about the election over at Bloggingheads.tv. These two scholars continue to offer some of the most intelligent, balanced, and unpredictable commentary on the political and social implications of the presidential race.

Update, Sept. 21:The Race Discussion Obama Didn’t Want,” Politico.com’s analysis of the AP-Yahoo poll.

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Thanks to Erika Haub for directing me to Mixin’ It Up, the blog of Jelani Greenidge. Jelani is the son of Pastor Henry Greenidge, whom I interviewed a decade ago for my Christianity Today profile of Tom Skinner. Jelani is an eloquent and provocative young writer. His recent post, “An Open Letter to a Young Republican,” is a heartfelt commentary about politics, faith, and the need for grace between passionate Christian supporters of John McCain and passionate Christian supporters of Barack Obama, like Jelani. I appreciate both his frankness and his humility, both much-needed qualities in the pursuit of genuine reconciliation. I encourage you to check him out.

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