The Bradley Effect came to life during an election for the mayor of LA in the early 1980s. Tom Bradley was the mayor and he was black. When up for re-election he was way ahead in the polls but lost. The conclusion many came to was that when people were asked by those conducting the various polls who they were going to vote for, they were reluctant to say they were voting against the black guy. In the end the poll result were miles off.
This may well be what happened in Wisconsin yesterday. The exit polls had a close race which in the end it wasn’t. Unless the sampling was way off, people did not tell the truth to the total strangers who were conducting the surveys.
Roger Simon now asks what if all of the polls are wrong? With Obama black, the same Bradley Effect may again be operative. Many people are perhaps reluctant to say they are not voting for the black person. Simon also suggests that this reluctance to tell the truth may be related to the intimidation that many people feel when stating that they are voting against people who are “openly or covertly threatening to ostracize him or her for not going along with the pervasive liberal status quo”. The death threats against Scott Walker is just one part of this process of intimidation. Therefore, as Simon writes:
If I were a member of the Democratic Party this morning, if I were David Axelrod and his team of so-called wise men, I would be wondering – what if all the polls are wrong? What if this is true across the entire country?
Even if these polls are wrong by three or four points in only a handful of states, the results of the coming election could be disastrous for the Democrats. Romney could win in a walk and bring a Republican House and Senate with him.
Quite a thought. Romney may already be miles ahead but no one will know till November. And better this way so that there is never a moment when the sense of urgency is diminished.
And just think if the Bradley Effect is also happening here with people reluctant to tell total strangers they are voting for Abbott and the Libs.