Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Bradley effect....

The Bradley effect has been mentioned more frequently, and those of you who don't follow politically history closely, may be left wondering exactly what is it? Simply put, it is when white voters lie when asked if they will vote for a black candidate. This means polls end up with a different result than happens on election day. It's also been called the Wilder effect.

When Obama lost in New Hampshire, some blamed the Bradley affect:

Concern was voiced that the only way for Obama to combat the Bradley effect in November was to pick Hillary as his VP.

Some of the articles out there voicing this as a concern, do list some brief history, Obama, Race And Undecided Voters as an example. Recently part of the reason this has become re-awakened is because some of Obama's supporters have focused on race, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has revived Democratic fears of a “Bradley effect”:

While campaigning for Obama in Iowa Tuesday, Sebelius was asked why the election is so close.

“Have any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?” the Democrat said. “That may be a factor. All the code language, all that doesn’t show up in the polls. And that may be a factor for some people.

What's interesting is there appears to be a split as to how important this is, some Democrats have expressed frustration:

Party elders also believe the Obama camp is in denial about warnings from Democratic pollsters that his true standing is four to six points lower than that in published polls because of hidden racism from voters - something that would put him a long way behind Mr McCain.

The Sunday Telegraph has learned that senators, governors and union leaders who have experience of winning hard-fought races in swing states have been bombarding Obamas campaign headquarters with telephone calls offering advice. But many of those calls have not been returned.

Is it race or experience that is the factor?

In Kenya, the headline reads Race card could hurt Obama’s dream with the theme being if Obama does not win it will be because of race:
No-one can specify the degree to which racial bigotry will affect the outcome of the November 4 US presidential election. But some analysts suggest it could prove decisive in denying victory to Sen Barack Obama.

Is part of the reason why this is an issue because some are basically implying, "if you don't vote for Obama you are a racist?" For an issue that's said to be the one that nobody wants to talk about it sure seems to be being talked about. While some on both sides say race will be a factor, there are also some on both sides that say race is not a factor that from some; Obama is not a black presidential candidate but a presidential candidate who just happens to be black, or It's not race it's Obama.

I think the larger number of those who do not plan to vote for Obama are basing their decision on more than just race. If the desired result of this is to try to shame white people into voting for Obama based on race alone? It seems as if it would backfire and that is exactly what the Bradley effect is about, people who feel for whatever reason, they can't be honest in stating they would not vote for a black candidate...

No comments: