Did Racism Skew the 2008 Election? Share Tweet Pin-it Bookmark ByJosh MarshallPublishedJune 14, 2012, 3:52 PM EDT We all probably figure that race played some significant role in the 2008 election. But a doctoral student at Harvard has used Google search data to put a number on it. His result? Racial hostility cost President Obama 3% to 5% of the popular vote.