Americans Fill Out President Obama's Census Form: What is His Race?
- Author(s): Citrin, J
- Levy, M
- Houweling, RPV
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12105
© 2014 Southwestern Social Science Association. Objective: We use nationally representative survey experiments to assess public opinion about how President Obama should have identified himself racially on the 2010 Census. Methods: Respondents were randomly assigned to three conditions-a control, a treatment that described the president's biracial ancestry, and a treatment that combined the biracial ancestry information with a statement that Obama had in fact classified himself as black only. All respondents were then asked how they felt Obama should have filled out his Census form. Results: A clear majority of Americans in all experimental conditions said that Obama should have identified himself as both black and white. Conclusion: There appears to be suggesting robust acceptance of official multiracial identification despite the cultural and legal legacy of the "one drop of blood" rule in official U.S. race categorization. A subsequent survey experiment found that a convenience sample of Americans support multiracial identification for mixed-race individuals generally and not only for the president.