In a completely unshocking Newsweek poll, US voters claim they are ready to elect a black or woman as president of the country. Such a poll is meaningless, however, as it is doubtful that most racist/sexist people would voluntarily put themselves in such a category, and it seems most people would feel compelled to say they would be able to vote for a qualified candidate regardless of sex or race. That said, I’m enough of an optimist to believe this country is enlightened enough to elect a candidate based on issues rather than bigotry.

The results of this question provide little insight into the 2008 presidential race. Just because someone says they wouldn’t not vote for a candidate based on sex/race, does not mean that person would vote for any black or female candidate that might run: The other extreme, Would you vote for a woman or black person because she is a woman or because he/she is black rather than for an otherwise better candidate? was not included in the poll.

Hooray for diversity! Yes, people are generally not scared to vote for a non-white non-male. This news should only be surprising at a backwoods Klan meeting. But before Republicans get too nervous about the electability of the Democratic frontrunners, the poll wasn’t asking about Hillary or Obama. In fact, 24% more people said they were willing to vote for a woman for president than said there was even a chance they would vote for Hillary. Similarly, 26% more would vote for a black person than specifically might vote for Obama.

So don’t get too excited, Hillary: 14% of people still would never vote for a woman for president, and close to 48% of the population don’t like you personally. Those numbers don’t add up favorably no matter how you spin them.

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