When Barack Obama peaked during the campaign, blacks scored about as well as similarly educated whites on a series of tests, reports a Vanderbilt management professor, Ray Friedman. He calls it the “Obama Effect.”
In the study, tests were administered to a total of 472 participants using questions drawn from Graduate Record Exams (GREs) to assess reading comprehension, analogies and sentence completion. The tests took place at four distinct points over three months during the campaign: two when Obama’s success was less prominent (prior to his acceptance of the nomination and the mid-point between the convention and election day) and two when it garnered the most attention (immediately after his nomination speech and his win of the presidency in November).
. . . during the height of the Obama media frenzy, the performance gap between black and white Americans was effectively eliminated.
Blacks “who did not watch Obama’s nomination acceptance speech continued to lag behind their white peers, while those who did view the speech successfully closed the gap.”