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 Demystification of the "Bradley" effect.

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Demystification of the "Bradley" effect. Empty
MessageSujet: Demystification of the "Bradley" effect.   Demystification of the "Bradley" effect. EmptyJeu 23 Oct 2008 - 22:53

What is the Bradley Effect?

MSNBC.com
Updated: 4:14 PM ET Oct 20, 2008


Oct. 21, 2008--With two weeks left until Election Day, many people are having trouble believing the polls that say Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is leading and may be running away with the election. Many of these doubts—a borderline conspiratorial uneasiness—have to do with race, and whether white voters who have no intention of voting for a black man tell pollsters that they will. The instant comparison is to the 1982 gubernatorial race in California, which produced a phenomenon now known as the Bradley effect. In that election, the former mayor of Los Angeles, Democrat Tom Bradley, an African American, ran against Republican and white George Deukmejian.

Surveys leading up to the election and exit polls in this '82 election showed that Bradley was well on his way to winning the race. A poll conducted by pollster Mervin Field several weeks out showed Bradley with a 14-point edge. By Election Day that margin was down to six, but as U.S. News and World Report declared: "Tom Bradley of Los Angeles has seen his lead over GOP Atty. Gen. George Deukmejian shrink, but analysts still expect Bradley to become the first elected black governor in U.S. history."

But Bradley lost narrowly, igniting a generation of speculation about whether white voters were lying to pollsters.

The issue reared its head again most conspicuously in 1989 when then Virginia Lt. Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, a black Democrat, ran for governor. Wilder led his Republican opponent by 10 points in the Mason-Dixon Poll going into Election Day. Wilder won by less than 1 percent.

The total margin of votes was 93,335, out of 7.8 million cast, and the X-factor was not racism or lying voters. Instead, it was nearly half a million absentee voters, over 300,000 of whom voted for Deukmejian nullifying any lead that polls had shown for Bradley.

With the absentee vote as the deciding factor, the election came down to a difference in campaign strategies.

In 1978, California passed a law that lessened the restrictions on absentee voting. The law, which the Republicans initially opposed, removed the requirement that voters present an excuse for not being able to come to the polls on Election Day.

The Deukmejian campaign used a $350,000 budget to mail 2.6 million packets to all California households with at least one registered Republican voter. These packets, mailed two months before the election included letters from President Reagan and Deukmejian, a request for contributions and an application for absentee voting. The state's Republican Party received and sorted 100,000 completed applications.

Bert Coffey, who at the time was an executive committee member in the California Democratic Party, spoke to the Washington Post after Bradley's loss. The absentee voting "just killed us," he said.

So in the end, the Bradley effect may not be grounded in historical reality, but that has not stopped a large portion of Americans, particularly black Americans from believing that there are lying white voters—a constant threat to black politicians seeking high office.

And, predictably, it has firmly inserted itself into the landscape of the Obama campaign. Not to suggest that race is no longer an issue, but the premise upon which the Bradley effect was built is misplaced.

And what was the Bradley effect really, other than the results of a poor campaign strategy that led to defeat? If there are any lessons to be learned, it is to focus on the whole universe of voters, including the early vote and absentee numbers, and consider how much energy the campaigns have focused on getting these votes.

The answer is not to speculate how racist Americans still are.

Matthew McKnight is a graduate student at Georgetown University and a writer for The Root.
Return to The Root Homepage




URL: http://www.theroot.com/id/48509

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Demystification of the "Bradley" effect. Empty
MessageSujet: Re: Demystification of the "Bradley" effect.   Demystification of the "Bradley" effect. EmptyVen 24 Oct 2008 - 0:09

Maybe the "bradley effect" is a myth as stated by the author of the article, but it is not an improbable phenomenon.Since last week John Mac Cain is saying:"We have them right where we wanted them to be"It could be a last tactic to show that Senator Obama's popularity is a myth .but a lots of blacks still believe in the Bradley effect.

I remeber listening to Cherles Barkley who swears that withe people will not vote for Obama once they reach the booth where they cast their ballots.I am not saying that the "bradley effect is not a myth,", but we have to wait the results of the lection to analyse all the variables in order to know really if there in no such thing as the bradley effect.

It is always easy in retropsect to evaluate a theory.To show that it did not happen in 1982 does not necessarly mean it can never happen.Right now in Virginia certain analysts are talking about the reverse of the Bradley effect whereas some whites are saying they will vote for John Mac Cain ,but they will vote for Barck Obama because their children are voting for Obama. Let us wait for the result to know exactly what happened.It is very difficult to predict the winner of this election.
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