Obama needs to be up 8 on election day

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by irvin88, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. irvin88

    irvin88 Active Member

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    By Bill Sammon

    Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has revived Democratic fears of a “Bradley effect” by suggesting that some Americans who claim to support Barack Obama will end up voting against him because he is black.

    While campaigning for Obama in Iowa Tuesday, Sebelius was asked why the election is so close.

    “Have any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?” the Democrat said. “That may be a factor. All the code language, all that doesn’t show up in the polls. And that may be a factor for some people.”

    Sebelius appeared to be alluding to the “Bradley effect,” a political phenomenon in which African-American candidates fare better in opinion polls than in actual elections. The effect is named for black Democrat Tom Bradley, who lost the California governor’s race in 1982 even though he was ahead in the polls.

    Currently, most polls show Obama tied with John McCain. But if there is a Bradley effect, such polls could be masking a McCain lead.

    “Obama will need a clear pre-election poll lead over McCain to win; a tie isn’t going to do it for him, in all probability,” said Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “It’s naïve to expect that there won’t be some racial leakage on election day.

    “Some voters will have told pollsters in advance that they are voting for Obama, and maybe to some degree that was their intention,” he added. “But whatever they have said in advance, they will get in the booth and be unable to vote for the black candidate. I would expect these voters to be disproportionately, but not exclusively, blue-collar, working class Democrats and Democratically-leaning Independents.”

    Civil rights author Juan Williams said Obama cannot go into the November election tied with McCain in the polls if he expects to win the presidency.

    “Obama’s got to have a buffer of 5 to 8 percentage points,” Williams said. “So if you have a race in which McCain is at, you know, 41, and Obama’s at 41, then imagine that really what you’re looking at is McCain at 49, Obama at 41.”

    Not all scholars believe in the Bradley effect.

    “In the early 1990s, there was a pronounced gap between polling and performance for black candidates of about 2.3 percentage points,” concluded Daniel Hopkins of Harvard after studying 133 gubernatorial and Senate elections between 1989 and 2006. “But in the mid-1990s, that upward bias in telephone surveys disappears.”

    Political analyst Michael Barone said the nature of telephone polling might explain the waning of the Bradley effect.

    “We now have these robo-polls in which you’re not responding to a person,” Barone said. “If people are reluctant to tell a live interviewer they’re voting against a black candidate, would they have the same reluctance on a robo-poll? It’s plausible to believe they would not. After all, it’s a machine.”

    Regardless of whether the Bradley effect manifests itself in this presidential race, some Republicans are accusing Sebelius of injecting race into the campaign.

    “Governor Sebelius’s remarks in Iowa City today are hurtful and divisive at best,” said Caleb Hunter, executive director of the Iowa GOP. “With less than 50 days to go, Democrats will continue to try and change the focus away from the issues that will decide this election.”

    But Sabato said race is part and parcel of the campaign.

    “This is sensitive stuff,” he said. “I keep hearing from people that the subject shouldn’t be discussed. But that’s ridiculous. Sebelius is just being realistic.”
  2. Aikbach

    Aikbach Well-Known Member

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    The Bradley effect only would come into play in LA and New York, the Midwest and South don't cower behind race, they'll flat out say they are opposed to the man's world view and associations; they don't need to be prejudice against his skin pigment to vote against him at the ballot box.
  3. irvin88

    irvin88 Active Member

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    Then explain to me Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in the democratic primaries.

    Hillary had about an 8-9 point swing on election day.;)

    Same goes for West Virginia and Kentucky. Hillary was supposed to win by 15, and ended up winning by 30-35 points.

    I'm fairly confident McCain is up by 5 in Ohio, Mich, and Pa at this moment.
  4. NinePointOh

    NinePointOh Well-Known Member

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    New Hampshire and West Virginia both have black populations below 2%. Kentucky's is below 8 as well.

    Ohio, Michigan, and PA are all 10-15, putting them each in the category where the polls were most accurate.

    States like Georgia, Louisiana, on the other hand, might be more competitive than the polls show, though the same could be true for Washington and Minnesota, for example.

    Also, you're wrong about Pennsylvania. Clinton was polling +6.1, and her actual margin of victory was +9.2, a swing of 3 points which is within most margins of error.

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