Monday, October 13, 2008

Deconstructing the Bradley Effect

I am soooo tired of hearing about the "danger" of the Bradley effect in the upcoming election.

It astounds me that, every time Obama is leading by a comfortable margin in the polls (whether in the primary versus Clinton, or currently) all of a sudden I have to read ad nauseum about the potential downfall the Senator may experience come election day.

First of all, it seems incredible to me that the first reaction, when discussing this infamous California election, is to blame the inherent racism of American society. Why would people who voted for a white Republican candidate lie and say that they had, in fact, voted for his African American Democratic opponent? Does this strike anyone else as odd? The polls leading up to election day predicted Bradley's victory as well. Consider that, according to Wikipedia, on election day, "previously (undecided) voters had voted for Deukmejian in statistically anomalous numbers." Does this strike anyone else as extremely odd?

I am no conspiracy theorist, but hasn't anyone thought that maybe the Republican machine swung into action and guaranteed the election for their boy? Fixed elections in America, and specifically in California, are not without precedent.

I don't make this point as an attempt to pretend that there isn't a race problem in America, but to instead illuminate that this "effect" may actually just have been an example of politics as usual. Only in America.

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