Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bradley Effect

Pundits are worried about this issue, named after Los Angeles candidate for mayor who was leading in the polls but unexpectedly lost. The reason seemed to be a number of people who said they were for him, but who in the secrecy of the polling place could not bring themselves to vote for a Black Man.

There are a couple of things that suggest to me that, in this race, that might not such an issue; in part because I do not trust these polls. There are an enormous number of young voters who are newly registered and use cell phones. Cell phone users, those who have no land lines, are not included in polls. In addition, the sampling algorithms do not take into account the large numbers of newly registered voters. We've seen that in the primaries, where polls were wrong a great deal of the time. In fact, they were seldom even close to being right.

I also think there might be some "reverse Bradley" effect. People in Los Angeles would never openly admit racial prejudice, but quite a lot of "Redneck Country" is openly racist and people there would never in a million years publicly admit to supporting a man with skin the color of Barack Obama's. Unemployment and this economy have hit hard there, however, and in the secrecy of the voting booth...


  1. Anonymous12:49 PM

    piss on the pollsters. So much like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Re-read the Mrs Jayhawk part posted above - is a good philosophy.

  2. From my experiance when calling people to ask opinions, they don't always give you an answer that one can use in the "what are the numbers" section, so it gets put somewhere other thna where it belongs. Seriously, have you seen a poll with teh catagories of "they hung up on the poller," "they yelled at the poller," "they told the poller to stop bothering them and to never call here again!"
    Nah, those aren't answers yo see in the poll results, but they are part of them.