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Harvard Study Claims Racism Cost Obama 3 To 5 Percent Of Vote In 2008

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His study showed that West Virginia was the state with the largest racially charged search rate in the county, while western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, upstate New York and southern Mississippi all had high percentages as well.

"Whether many white Americans will not vote for a black presidential candidate is perhaps the most renowned problem complicated by social desirability bias," Stephens-Davidowitz concludes. "Scholars have long doubted the accuracy of survey results on this sensitive question. Google search query data, this paper shows, offer clear evidence that continuing racial animus in the United States costs a black candidate substantial votes."