September 15, 2008

Race, economy lead Mich. voters to waver on Obama
Michigan's history of racial tensions is tugging against its Democratic tendencies, giving Barack Obama fits when most everything else potentially benefits Democrats: a soaring unemployment rate, shrinking auto industry and depressed housing market.

The first minority candidate with a serious shot at the presidency is not running as well as his Democratic predecessors among working-class whites in this pivotal Midwestern swing state, partly because of the color of his skin.

"I've got a lot of friends ... (who) are like, `Oh, no,"' when it comes to voting for a black presidential candidate, said John Martin, a 42-year-old Democrat from Macomb County's Harrison Township who backs Obama. "They're all working people, all in unions, plumbers and stuff like that. ... A few of them have said they're not even going to vote."


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