Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2009


Barack Obama, Implicit racial bias, Racial identity, National identity, Unconscious bias, Elections, Bradley Effect


American Politics | Law and Politics | Psychology | Race and Ethnicity | Social Psychology and Interaction


The election of Barack Obama as the forty-fourth president of the United States suggests that the United States has made great strides with regard to race. The blogs and the pundits may laud Obama’s win as evidence that we now live in a “post-racial America.” But is it accurate to suggest that race no longer significantly influences how Americans evaluate each other? Does Obama’s victory suggest that affirmative action and antidiscrimination protections are no longer necessary? We think not. Ironically, rather than marking the dawn of a post-racial America, Obama’s candidacy reveals how deeply race affects judgment.

Publication Citation

Jeffrey J. Rachlinski & Gregory S. Parks, "Barack Obama, Implicit Bias, and the 2008 Election", 35 Cornell Law Forum (2009)