Obama plays down possibility of “Bradley effect”

October 30, 2008

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.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage 

– Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama and running mate Joe Biden at a rally)


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Yes i still believe that sen.Obama will win the presidential election comes november 4 2008 the pre election poll has already shown that he is still leading even in some red state. unless the poll figures are not fact. the bradley effect occured when awareness as regard voting election is low then. enough elligible voters did not perform their civil rigth then

Posted by Atoyebi Funsho Wasiu | Report as abusive

At least he can admit it has nothing to do with him or this election. The liberal illuminati aren’t experienced enough to run the country, not because they’re black, but because they lack experience.

Posted by Ms.k7225 | Report as abusive

The liberal illuminati…..

It’s no surprise to me that the majority of Republicans are religious fanatics. Religious fanatics are usually hate mongers. Very fitting that the majority of Republicans are also hate mongers.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

The Bradley Effect is a possibility according to the author Malcolm Gladwell in his book “The Tipping Point” . The problem is not about racism. We are ALL biased he claims. The bias we have is also “variant based bias” meaning our decision could change simply by the color of the drape entering the voting booth. If the drape is light in color we will vote one way. If the drape is dark we will vote differently. Malcolm Gladwell’s message is that most of us are not as sophisticated and fair minded as we think we are.

Posted by Dan Fried | Report as abusive

Democrats and liberals,

I am sorry but I will be the first one to go on record and predict that Obama will lose the popular vote by 3.6%. Reason being, the “Bradley Effect” while disgusting is an unfortunate reality. The truth of the matter is, many of your party members while talking about the acceptance of others, haven hidden, unjust biases against people of color. To support this claim, Stanford University just recently confirmed that many constituents throughout the Democratic Party are in fact prejudice. Therefore, unless Obama can go into Election Day with a 12-14 point lead, he will lose. Finally, if Obama does win, I would bet my right finger that if they were to audit all the polling centers in the battleground states, 875,000+ votes were fraudulent.

In conclusion, if I am right, I hope that your party members will act in a responsible manner and show the world that we are still Americans. Remember, rioting is a cowardice act and portrays weakness.

Respectfully Yours,
BigPat, Defender of Freedom

Posted by Big Pat, Defender of Freedom | Report as abusive