Nearly 20 percent of voters say that Barack Obama’s relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright has made them less likely to support Obama at the polls, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News survey.
The poll was conducted after Obama held a press conference on Tuesday and renounced his former pastor for his incendiary remarks.
But a near majority of respondents — 47 percent — thinks Obama renounced his ties with Rev. Wright mainly because he thought it would help him politically, while just 34 percent said he did so because he truly disagreed with the things Wright said. Six percent said he did it for both reasons.
In the poll, 11 percent of respondents said the Rev. Wright issue would matter to them “a lot” when deciding whom to vote for in November, and 13 percent said it would matter “some.”
Among Democratic primary voters, 9 percent said it would matter “a lot.” The Times notes that the Wright issue “could sway a relatively small but potentially important group of voters in the remaining primaries,” not to mention in November’s general election, which polls indicate will be close.
Among the other findings of the survey:Asked if Rev. Wright’s statements made them more or less favorable toward Obama, only 2 percent said more favorable and 22 percent said less favorable, while 75 percent said they made no difference.Only 3 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of Rev. Wright, 56 had a “not favorable” opinion, and the rest were undecided, hadn’t heard enough about Rev. Wright, or declined to answer.Asked how much the Rev. Wright issue would matter to “most people you know” if Obama is the Democratic nominee, 44 percent said “a lot” or “some.”But 44 percent of those polled still believe that Obama has the best chance of beating John McCain in November, while 41 percent say Hillary Clinton has the best chance.
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