Monday, October 13, 2008

The Bradley Effect

Have you ever considered that there are people saying they're voting for Obama who really arent. Has it even crossed your mind that the the voter opinion polls that have Barack Obama ahead of John McCain, are just opinions. Sometimes people give the popular answer just so they don't get criticized for not being on the bandwagon, specifically in political races between white and non-white candidates.

Some people have no idea who Tom Bradley is, but he was the first and only African-American mayor of Los Angeles, CA. He also served 20 years as mayor, which is the longest tenure ever for a mayor of that city. When he ran for governor of California, polls showed the Democratic candidate, Bradley, consistently ahead of his white opponent. He was even projected as the winner, however when the votes finally came in, Bradley lost. The reason? Some voters who said they voted for Bradley, said so only because they were following the trend, and they really didn't want to say they were not supporting the popular black candidate. This became known as the "Bradley effect."

In fact several African-American politicians have seemingly fallen prey to polls not matching up with actual votes. Jesse Jackson and David Dinkins both received more support in voter polls than voter booths when they ran for president and mayor of New York respectively. In retrospect there is no reason to think the same thing can't happen to Barack Obama. As much as it may seem like Barack is a sure thing, history shows that there are no sure things in politics, especially when a black candidate is running. Expect the best but be prepared for the worst. Understand that no election has ever been won prior to election day.


1 comment:

  1. Also- Some people have been talking about a reverse "Bradley Effect". Meaning, a lot of people don't want to admit they are voting for Obama to their friends, families, or even spouse who are McCain supporters.