Most Voters Don’t Think Obama Shares Ex-Pastor’s Views

Posted March 20, 2008 at 5:24pm

Most Americans – 72 percent — say they have heard about the controversial oratory of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s ex-pastor, but more than half said they do not believe Obama shares his views, according to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll conducted March 18-19.

Fifty-four percent of voters said Obama’s association with Wright did not make them have doubts about him, but that left 35 percent of voters who did have doubts after Wright’s comments became known. Breaking the numbers down by party affiliation, Democrats said they did not believe Obama shared Wright’s views by 63 percent to 17 percent, Republicans by 46 percent to 36 percent, and independents by 62 percent to 20 percent.

Black voters said by a 72 percent to 15 percent margin that Obama did not share Wright’s views compared to 55 percent to 25 percent among white voters. The same difference across racial lines registered on the question of whether the controversy prompted doubts about Obama. Black voters said no by a 90 percent to 2 percent margin, while white voters said no by a 49 percent to 40 percent margin.

In the Democratic horse race, Clinton leads Obama by a statistically insignificant 40 percent to 38 percent margin. The margin of error is 5 percent. That differs from Gallup’s daily tracking poll which has Clinton ahead by a statistically significant but modest 5 points.