Oct 14 2008

Who Can Rally The Vote? Plus – The Truth About The Bradley Effect

Published by at 1:19 pm under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

McCain wants to change DC, Obama wants to change America!

Major Update: The crowd in Richmond is now estimated to be 30,000!  Wow.  – end update

Jay Cost over at RCP posted an analysis regarding polls and turnout models – something I have been on about for weeks now. It is an interesting discussion regarding Gallup’s succumbing to producing two likely voter model results as no one can gauge which side has rallied voter intensity (my post on Gallup’s models is here).

One thing I wanted to note for Jay relates to his question about who can rally the vote:

The operative word is “might.” Contrary to what anybody might tell you, political outsiders can’t answer this question – at least not right now. For all the discussion of Obama’s GOTV efforts, it’s all been about his campaign’s inputs – the dollars spent, the organization created, the number of contacts made, and so on. There’s no talk of what this is producing in terms of output. How could there be at this point? These contacted voters have not voted yet, so how can we know how efficacious this unprecedented effort will be?

Actually that is not true. We have hard evidence of Obama’s inability to bring out the vote from early voting in Ohio. The fact is Obama’s voters were AWOL in Ohio despite ACORN fraud and a democrat GOTV effort. The campaign missed its mark by 80%! That is with a Bruce Springsteen Concert in the middle of this window to push kids to vote – it did not happen. Recall that Obama squeaked by Clinton because she did not establish a good ground game until too late. Obama struggled and lost many primary votes – he was saved by caucuses. This round he faces an energized GOP base rallying behind Palin and a GOTV machine as good as they get.

Finally, I wanted to add something about the so called Bradley effect, the myth there is a surge of anti-black votes at the end which makes good polls appear wrong. The reality is someone tried to cover up a bad poll by claiming racism. The Bradley Effect is not racism, it is scapegoating bad polls (which will be the topic of this election I am sure). Here is the inside story about what happened in CA:

It is obvious that this election was closing fast. Yet, Bradley’s win was projected by the most prominent public pollster in the state, Mervin Field, who boasted on Election Day that Tom Bradley would defeat George Deukmejian, “making the Los Angeles mayor the first elected black governor in American history” (UPI 11-3-82). The reason for Field’s enthusiasm was that his last weekend polling showed a 7-point margin for Bradley, but this was totally at variance from the Tarrance and Associates internal tracking results. 

Even later analysis of the 1982 election revealed the weakness in the Bradley Effect theory as Bradley actually won on election day turnout, but lost the absentee vote so badly that Deukmejian pulled ahead to win. That Bradley won the vote on Election Day would hardly seem to suggest a hidden or last minute anti-black backlash–on the contrary, it suggests how easy it would have been for weekend polls and Election Day exit polls to get it wrong, since the decisive group of voters had largely already voted before the final weekend and never showed up at the polls to answer the questions of exit pollsters.

The Bradley Effect is a lame excuse about a lame poll prediction. And so to this day people think Bradley lost because of racism, when in reality he lost to early voting. He won the day – too late to win the race. And because a pollster with his money now on the line needed to recover his image, he blamed the voters.

And trust me, the Political Industrial Complex will blame America if their chosen one, Obama, loses. The problem is, with 90% of the nation seeing this country as seriously off track, rejecting the DC-insider’s “chosen one” may be the kind of blame the nation wants – if they want to send a signal to DC to shut up and listen to us now!

McCain wants to change DC, Obama wants to change America!

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Who Can Rally The Vote? Plus – The Truth About The Bradley Effect”

  1. RattlerGator says:

    AJ, check out my latest post:


    Think of the 2005 votes in France and Denmark on the European Constitution. We’re not really voting on a Black President or anything like that. It’s much more analogous to the European Constitution vote.

    And we all know how that turned out.

  2. MerlinOS2 says:

    Estimates this year are with 38 states now allowing early voting that over half the votes cast will be either early or absentee.

    The same was true for the primary elections and thus the exit polls from even the primaries are suspect.

    They tend from the demographics listed to be the most rabid of the BHO supporters and still in many states he had his hat handed to him.

    If you look at the map of all the states ACORN claimed voter registration in that is the same states all the pollsters adjusted their dem weightings to show state and national leads for Obama.

    The data , especially the internals are all over the map and none of it is consistent.

  3. Good Captain says:

    The Bradley Effect may exist but to the extent it does, I would offer a different leading cause for those respondents’ misleading answers. When the media loudly and clearly trumpets the “appropriate” response to political questions of the day, significant numbers of people, hoping to avoid potential dissension of any sort, will provide the “accepted” answer in public despite holding a contrary belief in private. Secret elections provide the means for the true expression of one’s preferences without exposing the individual to other’s contrary beliefs.

    Proponents of the “Bradley effect”, often (and simplistically) attribute this phenomenon to the respondent’s own racial prejudice. While issues of race may contribute to this alleged effect, I beleive its impact is indirect and often introduced by those same “self-appointed” shapers of public opinion. How so? The desire to extinguish racial prejudice from the public arena while laudable can be over played by those who see racism in everything.

    When the media “declares” a vote against X is a vote for racism, the media sets itself up for this potential effect, to the extent that individuals w/ contrary opinions and assumptions to that of the media deem a contrary response is worth the peace a “proper” response offers.

  4. browngreengold says:

    The Good Captain makes some excellent points.

    I would add this:

    I think that the reason that there is a noticeable lack of public support for McCain/Palin ie bumper stickers, yard signs, etc is because of the response from the left.

    People don’t want to take the chance of having their cars keyed or having their property destroyed.

    People don’t want to express their opinions due to the risk of being called racist or some other sort of insult.

    There was a business owner in northern Va. who received all sorts of threats toward his business and his ability to make a living because he put up a McCain sign. (I’m not sure if I read about that here or elsewhere.)

    There is a calm, quiet, steady base of support out there for the Republican ticket.

    It is my belief that those people will do whatever they have to do to get the polls to defeat Obama.

  5. AJStrata says:


    You nailed the state of the race today. Excessive exuberance on the left and quiet determination on the right.

    And the polls are going to suffer because of the disconnect.

    I have a post I will put out later today showing why Gallup is leading the way in transparency by showing two possible outcomes. If there is a huge difference in intensity Obama is up 10%. If not he is only up 6% – and the race is too close to call.

    We all should be applauding Gallup on this one.

  6. BarbaraS says:

    I read in the newspapers in my small city in North Carolina that people are taking down their Obama signs and the Obama people are angry about it. I don’t know whether it is because the news about Ayers is getting out or the fact that Obama is connected to ACORN or people are remembering about Wright or even that fact that Obama has too many radical anti-Americans as friends. Whatever it is this is good news for us.

  7. ExposeFannyNFreddyNow says:

    Returning to finances for a minute, this from Bloomberg today:

    BO says, “We face an immediate economic emergency that requires urgent action (by a rank amateur who spells community organizer and corruption with the same letters, and pockets payouts faster than any other senator on Capitol Hill).” My brackets.

    It also goes on to describe the $3000/head “job bait”, which I still don’t get. How does this handout stimulate employment aside from temp work? How long is $3000 expected to last for an employer?

    Even at $100/wk subsidy, that’s still only 30 weeks employment. And where’s an employer to find the money to cover the rest of the wages? Or does opening a job position automatically mean customers will beat a path to your door in these stringent times?

    And god forbid this becomes the employment version of “affordable housing” where employers will be forced to open minimum quota employment opportunities by public fiat whether you can afford to them or not.

    Does anyone really think $3000/head is going to make GM reopen its factories to long-term full-time contracts? Seriously? Even if they open 60 full-time jobs, that only nets them $180,000. Based on the numbers we’ve been seeing in the headlines, that’s a**wipe. At $30,000/yr each, they’d have to cough up $1.62M to make up the difference.

    Then again, I’m sure BO’s uber-rich media friends like Olbermann, Letterman, Oprah, Ludacris, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and everyone at the NYTimes will be opening their hoity-toity glamor doors wide to all comers from displaced GM workers to all the soon-to-be displaced ACORN workers.

    Also check out WSJ’s “Main Street” interview with former rep Richard Baker (the Republican at the start of the Fannie & Freddie, “Democrats in their own words” video).

    “My starting principle is this,” says Mr. Baker. “The closer an enterprise is to the taxpayer’s wallet, the more congressional oversight it requires. The further away you get from that wallet, the more freedom you should give people, because they are risking their own money, not the taxpayers’.”

    Given how “unaware” BO is about everything else that’s gone on in his life, you can bet there won’t be much “oversight” going on on Capitol Hill if he’s elected.

    BO’s best qualification is his ability to “overLOOK” everything and anything that opposes his ambitions.

    And let’s not forget this plum from Reagan:

  8. bush_is_best says:

    So I’m learning that there is no racism factor in this years election. And polls are just meaningless indicators that prove to show, not that they are just inaccurate, but actually display the complete opposite results when compared to reality, all of them, bar none…and Mr. Obama is only known for a very few things: Being a terrorist by association, hating America, encouraging voter fraud by courting illegal votes, etc… I bet he cheats on his wife, uses drugs and abuses his children, I am sure this will all come out sooner or later… So if the so called elitists are wrong in saying the average american is ignorant, then why is John McCain not ahead by huge margins? Average americans are educated and make informed decisions right? Terrorist or Hero? Traitor or Hockey Mom? How is it even a contest? I challenge anyone to name one thing Obama has done that is remotely beneficial to this country and one thing McCain or Palin has done to show they are not qualified to be president? I don’t think there are any. So why is it even close, how can 50 million people or so, vote for someone who would bomb HIS OWN country? and will undoubtedly continue do bomb his own country, killing innocent people?

  9. ExposeFannyNFreddyNow says:

    Is it just me, or is it starting to look a bit crowded “under the bus” these days?

    ABC: Obama on ACORN Controversy: “A Distraction… We Don’t Need ACORN’s Help”

    Ayers, Wright, Pfleger, Raines, Johnson, Odinga, Fannie & Freddie, ACORN, Rezko, Auchi, and those are his friends!

    What about the ones he ditched under the wheels of his ambition that he didn’t like? Obviously, Hillary and all those “bumped off” candidates in Obama’s senate bid. Others?

    Somebody should be doing an editorial cartoon on “The Obama Bus”.

    Also, I hope somebody out there is keeping tabs on all the “change” that goes on at Obama’s “Fight the Smears” site to accommodate Obama’s revisionist relationships.

  10. ExposeFannyNFreddyNow says:

    For those who are wondering why the polls are so skewed check this out – hysterical!!

    Howard Stern – Obama supporters in Harlem openly support McCain policies and Sarah Palin