Fearing for Obama’s Safety

Posted June 6, 2008 at 6:00pm

Gallup has done polling on the sensitive question of Barack Obama’s personal safety now that he is the presumed nominee of the Democrats and the first black candidate to head a major party ticket. The survey, conducted May 30-June 1, found that black Americans seem him at greater risk than past candidates by 57 percent to 29 percent, while whites said the risk to Obama was not higher by 52 percent to 39 percent. The overall totals for the public were that 48 percent believed the risk had not changed compared to 42 percent who said it was greater. However, only 16 percent of blacks said they were “very worried” and 7 percent of whites were in that category.

There was also a generational difference between younger Americans and those old enough to remember the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King in the 60s. Gallup set the age divider at 30 years (which would include people born after the 60s). the surprising result was that those under 30 believed Obama was at greater risk by 53 percent to 38 percent while those older than 30 believed the risk was the same by 50 percent to 39 percent.