09 enero 2008

Barack Obama & the “Bradley Effect”

“Bradley Effect is the difference between the number of people who vote for a black candidate and those who say they will or would”

The Bradley Effect
“…As black candidates reaching out to largely white constituencies have discovered in the past, when it comes to measuring political popularity there are lies, damned lies—and polls, on which they rest their fate at their peril.

The phenomenon was first widely noted in 1982, when Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley lost a squeaker of a race for governor after being widely projected as the winner. Douglas Wilder also came up against the "Bradley Effect" when he barely won the 1989 contest for governor of Virginia, after leading comfortably in the polls.

Ronald Walters of the university of Maryland was at wilder's hotel as a projected easy victory turned into a nail-biter. That is a night "i'll never forget," says Walters, who thinks it "naive" to believe that things have changed very much. He believes that some percentage of whites—perhaps 5 percent or so, intent on being seen as less biased than they may be—will claim to support a nonwhite candidate when they actually do not.

Other political observers think the effect may have diminished over time. "We may be seeing the turning of this," says Ed Sarpolus, vice president of EPIC-MRA, a Michigan-based polling firm…” (MORE)

Is "Bradley effect" behind the Clinton surge?
“…Does Hillary Clinton’s unexpectedly strong showing in New Hampshire tonight mean that the racially charged Bradley effect” is still hanging around in American politics?

The “Bradley effect” is the name that some political pundits gave to what was a disturbing pattern in elections in the 1980s and beyond: White voters telling pollsters they supported a black candidate, and then voting for a white politician in the privacy of the voting booth.

It was named for former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley (pictured at top), who ran for governor of California in 1982 and built a comfortable lead in every polls over his Republican rival George Deukmejian, only to lose on Election Day. Likewise, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Douglas Wilder led the final polls in 1989 by nine points, and just barely won…” (MORE)

Did "the bradley Effect" beat Obama in New Hampshire?
“…Barack Obama was supposed to win New Hampshire big. The polls going into Tuesday's New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary had him running ahead of Hillary Clinton by seven points, eight points, nine points, even thirteen points.

Yet, when the returns came in on Tuesday night, Obama lost by three points to fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Were the polls flawed?

Was there a dramatic shift at the last moment?

Or was it just another instance of "The Bradley Effect"?

The Bradley Effect refers to an electoral phenomenon first identified in the 1982 California gubernatorial election.

Tom Bradley, the popular mayor of Los Angeles, was the Democratic nominee for governor. Polls showed the African-American Democrat running well ahead of white Republican candidate George Deukmejian. Yet, when the votes were counted, Bradley lost by more than 50,000 votes...” (MORE)

Did Obama "Supporters" Lie?
“…Judging by this morning’s headlines, just about everyone was confident that Barack Obama was going to win the New Hampshire primary by a comfortable margin. “Clinton braces for second loss; union, senators may back Obama,” the wall street journal
declared on today’s front page. At 8:07 p.m., foxnews.com reported that its exit polls showed Obama ahead by five points, 39 percent to Clinton’s 34 percent.

But now Clinton leads. This sort of jarring of our expectations conjures up past examples of black candidates who have polled significantly higher than their white opponents, only to confront a very different reality when the votes are counted. Pollsters know this as the “bradley effect,” christened for former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, a black man who narrowly lost the 1982 California gubernatorial election to a white opponent even though Bradley led in the polls. (it’s sometimes also referred to as the “wilder effect,” after douglas wilder, who had been polling at 10 points ahead of Marshall Coleman in the 1989 governor’s race, beat Coleman by less than a point.) Harold ford jr., who lost his bid for a senate seat in Tennessee in 2006, also polled better than he performed. (more)

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