The Obama Bradley Effect Complexity
The Obama Bradley Effect Complexity
(Race is only a small part.)
In politics and polling 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 five 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, because such a portrayal would almost certainly be a misrepresentation of the actual situation.
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. This vilification has been so relentless that it is easy to imagine some Republicans saying they would vote for Sen. Obama so maybe the media and pollsters might give them absolution. However, once in the voting booth, their heart of hearts may kick in and they will not be able to pull the level for such an inexperienced, naïve, corrupt, unpatriotic politician who will move the United States towards socialism.
The Blue Dog and Conservative Democrats
This will be a group from which I expect some 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
As someone who considers themselves an Independent, I’ve had the recent opportunity to get to know several Clinton supporters and I have been pleasantly surprised by their thoughtfulness, civility and compassion. I met these folks 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. (The media continues to avoid doing their jobs.) As a result, it is not hard for me to imagine 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 imagine 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 a 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.
Through this blogging experience, I have also observed first hand the cult like brutality and nastiness of Obama’s internet thugs who patrol the internet trying to quell opposition. They have released opposition blogger’s sensitive personal information, social security numbers, identities, caused blogs to be shut down, and have made other serious threats, including death threats against Mr. Sinclair. Consequently, I am very concerned that Sen. Obama will give these thugs and people like Rev. Wright, William Ayers, Farrakhan, etc. legitimacy.
The Media’s Unbridled Support and Their Creation of Superstar Status 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 – if they are insecure and/or approval driven, 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 an opportunity to rear its marvelous head and require them to vote against Obama because of all the unanswered questions about his life and experience. The questions the media have tried to down play, not report and/or cover-up. The sounds of the hate speech from the Senator’s spiritual advisor, Rev. Wright, will come thundering against the curtain. All 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 raise again the issue of just how patriotic is this man. 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
Lastly, the thought of a Progressive making steps towards something better seems attractive. However, when one really looks at what it means to be a “Progressive” it should make most American’s recoil. This political ideology has its roots in the early part of this century with President Wilson. What it is really about is the idea that they, “The Progressives”, have evolved to a place of understanding and enlightenment about what is best for all of us. The people that I have encountered who truly buy into this ideology are many times closed minded and condescending because they do believe that they know best. Senator Obama’s statement about rural American being bitter and clinging to their guns and religion totally reflects the “Progressive’s” view of most of us. Further, Progressives unfortunately 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.
However, I can easily see how some voters might want to be identified as progressive; because, you know, it’s progressive and Obama’s progressive so they will vote for him because everyone must want to progress. The closer the election gets, I can only hope that these people will discover just how destructive Senator Obama’s agenda will be to our economy, security and founding principles. No. Regrettably, I think they will probably vote just as they told the pollster because once they progress how can they not progress, because Obama says he progressed and everyone must want to progress. I think these people probably make up the cult.
As anyone can see, 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.
However, if Senator Obama does lose, I do 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, race is not that big a deal today.