Friday, October 10, 2008

The Bradley Effect: Have We Evolved?


Or is there a 21st century peasantry with an atavistic fear of the "other" who also know it's socially unacceptable and therefore hide it to pollsters?





Norm Solomon, over on Alternet warns progressives that any crystal ball that says it's in the bag for Obama is a fake. It's far from over.

Here's his take on the Bradley Effect:

There's also the matter of race -- and, more to the point, racism. "Many older Democrats quietly admit they will not vote for Mr. Obama because they fear he would put too many blacks in power, or be hamstrung in office by racial opposition," the New York Times reported from Florida on Oct. 4.

This fall, no one knows exactly how much we'll see of the "Bradley effect" -- named after the defeat of the black mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley, who received conspicuously fewer votes from whites than election-eve polling had predicted when he ran for governor in 1982.

Polls involving a black nominee "have tended to undersell the level to which race negatively impacts voting -- particularly among whites," political reporter Chris Cillizza wrote on washingtonpost.com four months ago. "That is, a black candidate tends to underperform his or her polls on Election Day, as some voters who may have told a pollster they would support an African-American candidate ultimately decide against doing so."

The Bradley effect has a long history, Cillizza noted. "In other races involving a black candidate -- most notably Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt's candidacies against Sen. Jesse Helms in 1990 and 1996 as well as L. Douglas Wilder's victorious run for the Virginia governor's mansion in 1989 -- the Bradley effect came into play."

Some political analysts say that the Bradley effect has diminished and will have little or no impact on Obama. Maybe they're right. But I doubt it.


Then there's FiveTwentyEight, a site that's gained a large following for it's method of aggregating polls.

Here's the money quote from that article:

As we have described here before, polling numbers from the primaries suggested no presence of a Bradley Effect. On the contrary, it was Barack Obama -- not Hillary Clinton -- who somewhat outperformed his polls on Election Day.


What do you think? Have we evolved past our own dark hearts?

2 comments:

Pure Waste said...

Is it possible, that Obama's lead could evaporate on election day because of Bradley-Wilder effect? Or nowadays Americans are significantly less reluctant to vote for an African-American? Vote here - http://www.votetheday.com/america/secret-racism-will-subvert-obamas-advantage-333

Pure Waste said...

Is it possible, that Obama's lead could evaporate on election day because of Bradley-Wilder effect? Or nowadays Americans are significantly less reluctant to vote for an African-American? Vote here - http://www.votetheday.com/america/secret-racism-will-subvert-obamas-advantage-333