To figure out where the presidential candidates stand on affirmative action, one need look no further than Colorado’s ballot. Amendment 46, dubbed the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative, will destroy preferential treatment for women and minorities in public contracting, hiring and education. That measure, plus an identical one on Nebraska’s ballot, is part of a national attempt to dismantle affirmative action state-by-state.
The effort’s main backer, a black California businessman named Ward Connerly, has sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Colorado proposal alone. In an interview with The Associated Press, Connerly said that John McCain has tepidly endorsed the measure but “would ideally like to leave [the issue] alone,” if elected.
“Although he supports the initiatives, I believe he would just as soon that it go away,” Connerly said in the article. “He doesn’t want to come across as hostile to black people and Hispanics.”
In spite of McCain’s outreach to Latino voters, he hasn’t secured their vote. Obama, who has stated his opposition to the anti-affirmative action proposals, has a much stronger showing with Latinos.