Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A note about the Bradley Effect

Anyone who finds our web site doubtless is immersed in the arcana of national politics and knows what the Bradley Effect is: Tom Bradley, the African American mayor of Los Angeles, ran as the Democratic nominee for governor of California in 1982. (I had the great privilege of voting for him that year.) Bradley went into Election Day with a strong lead in the polls, but on Election Day, he lost the governorship to Duke Dukmejian by a narrow margin. Ever since then, people have accused the people of California of telling pollsters one thing about their vote for an African American but doing something else in the voting booth. Hence, the term, "Bradley Effect."

Ed Rollins worked on the Dukmejian campaign, and he completely dismisses the Bradley Effect as a myth. He said on CNN last evening that Bradley indeed did win on Election Day by a substantial margin, but how he lost the election was in the absentee ballots. Bradley did not organize an absentee ballot program, but Dukmejian did. Bradley won on Election Day just as the polls predicted, but it was Dukmejian's workman-like effort with absentee ballots that brought the Republican across the finish line first.

Just more grist for the mill.


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