Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Fishtown Effect

What it's like in one Philly neighborhood.

After a year of speculation as to whether voters were prejudiced, in the last few weeks — since the campaigns zeroed in on white, blue-collar communities in Pennsylvania, really — people making casual, overtly racist statements suddenly started getting quoted in the papers.

Fishtown, as the anonymous canvasser observed, was sometimes a graphic example.

What he found even more surprising, though, was that these same people were considering voting for Obama.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been talking to people in Fishtown, and I've found much the same thing. Obama's skin color is a problem for many white voters in Philly — but with the economy in ruins, they're turning to Obama anyway. Call it the Fishtown Effect.