26 September 2008
How the Bradley Effect may tell against Obama
The opinion polls give Barack Obama a lead of between three and five percent over John McCain in the race for the White House. Unfortunately that will not be enough if the Bradley Effect kicks in; as to overcome that tendency Obama needs a ten percent lead at least.
The Bradley Effect is named after Tom Bradley, a black candidate who narrowly lost the 1982 race for California's governorship after having led consistently in the polls. What happened was that voters lied to the pollsters about their voting intentions and then cast ballots for the white candidate in the privacy of the voting booths.
It is usually seen as a white voter trend, but it effects Hispanic voters to an even greater extent. Hispanics are a major part of the Democrats' voting coalition and the polls show two-thirds of them breaking for Obama. The question is, will they carry through with their pledges when they reach the polling stations?
Hispanics and blacks tend not to get along very well largely because they both compete for the same minimum wage jobs and Latinos have a proven track record of not voting for black candidates. If we couple that with the Democratic Party's determination to alienate the Catholics with its stance on abortion, then we have a recipe for an Hispanic desertion of the party in November.
This election is becoming very interesting indeed.