Complexity Regarding the “The Bradley Effect”
(Race is only a small part.)
As most of us have heard by now, there exists a phenomenon known as the “Bradley Effect”. It came in to being during the 1982 campaign of Tom Bradley, a black politician, who was running for Governor of California against George Deukmejian, a white politician. The polls leading into the election showed Bradley with a lead, as did the exit polls. However, once in the ballot booth, many voters pulled the lever for the white candidate. Deukmejian won the election. Voters had told pollsters one thing and when push came to shove, they did another.
In this election, even though pollsters are attempting to compensate for the Bradley Effect through sly questioning, some are saying that scope of the effect could reach as high as 5 – 10 percent of potential voters. Unfortunately, this is being attributed solely to Obama’s race. I would like suggest that if we have a variance between the polls and the vote count, the cause will be much more complicated than simply race.
I think there are probably no less than six considerations that may give rise to some degree of deception on the part of voters.
I’m sure that there will be a small portion of the voting public that will not vote for Senator Obama because he is black and may lie to avoid being thought of as racist. (The hardcore racists are probably already reflected in the polls.) Thankfully, in this day and age, this will represent only small percentage of the population because most people are beyond race as a reason to exclude someone from elected office.
However, my worry is that the media and the black community may see or try to portray any difference between polling and the actual numbers as being completely about Obama’s race. That would be a shame.
So what are the other possibilities that could show up as a difference between polling and actual votes?
A Tarnished Republican Brand
The media, the left, and the Republican Party itself have been extremely effective in damaging the Republican brand. The media with its obvious visceral dislike for President Bush takes every opportunity to shape the news in the least favorable light towards the Republican Party; and, their vilification has worked.
In some circles, instead of thinking of Republicans as the party of small government, integrity, fiscal responsibility, national security and state’s rights; they are thought of big spending, big government, morally bankrupt, war mongers. Even though, the vast majority of Republicans in their personal and public lives remain true to the highest principles of what it means to be Republican, the public image (mis)portrayed daily in the media over the past dozens of years is the one the general public sees. Thank goodness for Gov. Palin.
This vilification has been so relentless that it is easy to imagine some Republicans saying they would vote for Sen. Obama so the media and pollsters might give them absolution. I have also heard that the brand is so tarnished that some Republicans are even telling pollsters that they are Independents or Democrats when they are called. This is very sad indeed.
However, once in the voting booth, hopefully their reason will kick in and they will not be able to pull the level for such an inexperienced and naïve politician.
The Blue Dog and Conservative Democrats
This will be a group from which I expect a certain degree of volatility come Election Day. Democrats who consider themselves part of the center politically may be somewhat hesitant to tell a pollster that they will not be voting for Senator Obama, the Democrat. When the Blue Dogs actually face the choice in the voting booth of surrendering the Democratic Party to the extreme left wing or waiting another 4 years for a better option, we may see many pull the lever for Senator McCain.
Former Clinton Supporters
Today, I know many Hillary Clinton’s supporters and they remain very dedicated to her. I met some when I started blogging just a few months ago in support of Larry Sinclair’s right to have his allegations against Sen. Obama heard and investigated by the media. As a result, it is not hard for me to imagine some former Clinton supporters who are Democrats with a capital D having a hard time telling a pollster that they would not be supporting the Democratic nominee. However, when they get in the voting booth, I know many will be thinking back and remembering the disrespectful treatment Ms. Clinton received from Sen. Obama and the media.
The media turned on Sen. Clinton before our eyes and Sen. Obama went so far as to flip her a bird while pretending to scratch his nose. I would bet you a dollar to a donut that both of the Clintons will be voting for McCain no matter what they say publicly.
The Media’s Unbridled Support and Fawning for Senator Obama
Implies that the Election is Already Won
As unfortunate as it is, some people want to be perceived as being on the winning side. So at this stage, when a pollster asks Mary and Tom who they are voting for, they may just say Obama because media is supporting him and they believe he will win. However, once they’ve made their public declaration for Obama, they are safe.
In the privacy of the voting booth, common sense will have one last opportunity to rear its head and urge them to vote against Obama because of all the unanswered questions about his life and experience.
When the curtain closes on the voting booth, the questions the media have tried to down play, not report and/or cover-up may tug at the voter’s common sense. The sounds of the hate speech from the Senator’s spiritual advisor, Rev. Wright, may come thundering against the curtain of the voting booth. The allegations of corruption circling around Tony Rezko and his friends will put an odor in the air. The images of the Senator befriending a Pentagon bomber, William Ayers, may throw light again on the issue of Sen. Obama’s patriotism. The total unfairness of the media’s fawning over Senator Obama may tweak the conscience of the voter and urge him or her to say NO to the liberal media’s malicious tampering. The allegations of Larry Sinclair that he and the Senator did cocaine and engaged in consensual gay sex in 1999 will beg the questions: When did he stop using drugs? If the Senator is not faithful in his relationship with Michelle, how faithful will he be to America?
The Idea of Being a “Progressive” Seems Appealing at First Glance
The image of Progressives taking steps towards something better seems attractive to many Americans and may lead some to announce support for Sen. Obama because they want to be seen as progressive in the pollster’s eyes. (This is the flip side of the tarnished Republican brand.) However, when one really looks at what it means to be a “Progressive” in today’s Democratic Party, it should make most American’s recoil.
This political ideology has its roots in the early part of the last century with President Wilson. What it means for Sen. Obama and the far left is that they, “The Progressives”, have evolved to a place of understanding, enlightenment and knowledge about what is best for all of us. Senator Obama’s statement about rural American being bitter and clinging to their guns and religion totally reflects the current “Progressive’s” view about most of us.
The Senator’s recently aired comment about disappointment that the Supreme Court had not done enough to direct the “Redistribution of Wealth” is yet another reflection of both the “Progressive’s” views concerning of founding documents and their socialist yearnings. They do not hold the Constitution in as high of regard as most Americans because they believe it was written in time long past – for a time long past; and now, it can and should be changed or interpreted as needed to facilitate their goals. To them, it’s just a tool. The Constitution has served us very well in the past and continues to do so today. If judges from the far left start tampering with the Constitution to advance their goals, the Constitution’s original meaning and sanctity could be lost forever.
As a “Progressive”, President Wilson had thousands of Americans arrested for speaking out against his policies. Yesterday, I saw in the news that Sen. Obama wants to create a huge Civilian Security Force to protect America. I can easily see how this sort of organization could be used as an arm of Sen. Obama’s political machine for indoctrination and/or silencing his opposition. Considering the efforts of ACORN and William Ayers’ education program that Sen. Obama was involved with, Americans should be very concerned about this possibility.
Peer Pressure From the Spouse, Kids and Pollsters
Lastly, many exist in households where a spouse or kids are planning to vote for or are supporting Sen. Obama. Their minds’ are made up and can’t be changed. In these households, it only brings anger, rage, angst, scorn, disappointment, or any of a host of other reactions if ANY challenge is made to Sen. Obama’s status as the “One”.
Sen. Obama’s followers many times exhibit a cult like allegiance to the messiah image that has been portrayed by the media and the Obama campaign. I can easily imagine the situation of a pollster calling and asking their poll questions of a culvert McCain supporter, who is in the presence of the spouse or kids. What could he or she say? To keep the peace, they had better affirm that they too are supporting Obama.
I’m not sure how much this happens, but I was actually called by a polling organization this year and was amazed at the change in tone of the pollster when I told him that I was planning to vote for Sen. McCain. There was a palpable sense of disappointment coming from the pollster. Could this be common? I don’t know. With the media displaying their obvious approval of Sen. Obama, I can imagine some voters not wanting to risk the disapproval of a pollster. Aren’t they like the media?
The election is Tuesday and I can only hope that Obama supporters have an epiphany about how destructive Senator Obama’s agenda will be to our economy, security and founding principles.
As stated above, I am not a supporter of Senator Obama. However, my non-support is entirely because of his policies and what I have discovered about him; and has absolutely nothing to do with his race. In my opinion, Senator Obama should lose this election because he is not the best person for the Presidency of the United States.
If Senator Obama does lose, I sincerely hope that all people will consider the possibility that many factors may have contributed to any differences between the polls and the actually votes. As much as some may want it to be true, race is not that big a deal today.