Obama plays down possibility of “Bradley effect”
SUNRISE, Florida – Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was not worried that his race would cost him the presidential election.
Many polls show Obama, who would be the first black president in U.S. history, with a lead of between 5 and 9 percentage points over his Republican rival John McCain. But some pundits say the so-called “Bradley effect” could occur on Election Day on Tuesday that might cause Obama to lose.
The Bradley effect is named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, who lost the California governor’s election in 1982 despite polls predicting he would win.
Political analysts believe the surveys turned out to be wrong because voters did not want to appear bigoted and told pollsters they were voting for Bradley, who was black, even when they were not.
Some pundits have suggested Obama’s unexpected loss to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary election in January might have been an example of the Bradley effect.
Asked on Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart whether he was worried about that pattern occurring on Nov. 4, Obama said he was not.
“(The pundits) have been saying that for a while but we’re still here. So I don’t think white voters have gotten this memo about the Bradley effect,” Obama said.
Stewart noted that Obama is the biracial son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya.
He asked if Obama might go into the voting booth and decide he could not cast the ballot for himself.
“It’s a problem,” Obama joked. “I’ve been going through therapy to make sure that I vote properly on the 4th.”
- Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama and running mate Joe Biden at a rally)