Perambulating the Bounds

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Forget the Bradley effect...

Given the encouraging state of recent polls, the big concern for Obama supporters is the Bradley Effect, in which poll respondents say they are going to vote for the black candidate because they don't want to seem like racists to the poll takers, but then go out and vote for the white candidate. But now there's evidence of a Reverse Bradley Effect, in which white voters say they'll vote for McCain, but they are really going to vote for Obama and don't want to say so because there's some sort of expectation that they should vote for the Republican (or the white person). As far as I know this effect was first postulated by my wife, but now two academics from the University of Washington have found evidence of it in this year's Democratic primaries.

With all due respect to the UW researchers, I'm sure the Obama campaign is with me, and has moved on to think about even more insidious voter behaviors. Don't forget these guys--Obama and even more so David Axelrod--are from Chicago.

The real thing to look for is the Double Reverse Bradley Effect--
1. White people say they are going to vote for McCain;
2. But something about the way they say it makes you think they're going to vote for Obama;
3. But what they're really going to do is write in Bernie Epton.

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