Analyzing the Bradley Effect -- Discussion


Bronxdem reviews the "Bradley Effect" -- so called because of discrepancy between the polling that said Bradley would win the California governorship and the actual outcome where he lost. Many attributed this to voters responding dishonestly to the polling. Bronxdem takes another look and analyzes the sociological reasoning behind questions, questioners, and those who answer.

Give it a read and see if her analysis rings true.





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Thanks for this systematic way of looking at the bias in the polling issues.

 can make a big difference in polls but had never thought of it from the perspective you present.  Thanks for helping to shed light on other areas to consider when looking at the poll results.  

After reviewing Bronxdem's analysis of General Social Survey data, I find it enlightening to see the percentage changes when a Black interviewer asks the polling questions as opposed to when a White interviewer does. What was especially intriquing is the higher numbers of respondents giving a safe or neutral answer when the interviewer was of a different ethnicity.  A survival strategy?  As Bronxdem says, do we know if they are misrepresenting?  No.  But the pattern of divergence is intriguing.

They telephone and it does not seem to me to be obvious what race or ethnicity they are. I should think that one of the requisites for being hired to conduct a phone poll is a standard, pleasant speaking voice. Now perhaps some names give an ethnic clue, for example I guy named Jose, but wouldn't the distance created by a phone versus a face-to-face interview tend to mimize racial and ethnic biases in people's responses?


Actually, some studies have looked at the question of how good people are at guessing the race of phone interviewers. Although I haven't analyzed those data myself, what I have read says that overall, they tend to be pretty good. I think it is probably pretty complex, because accent and speech patterns get mixed in with geography. The move to robo interviews my eliminate some of that.

It seems to me that a telephone call from a stranger creates a more distant relationship than one that would be face-to-face. In other words, there might well be less motivation on the part of the person being interviewed to answer "politely," by covering up racial bias.



I recall quite well the 1982 California gubernatorial election in which George Deukmejian defeated L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley in what was considered an upset. The opinion polls leading up to the election all favored Bradley as did the exit polls after the voting polls had closed.

So what happened? The answer "THEY" would have us believe is the Bradley Effect, in which Whites in large numbers could not bring themselves at the last moment to vote for a Black candidate!

That's a mess of BALONEY! The Repugs pulled a very slick one! Before the election they had mailed to all registered Repugs an absentee ballot along with a postage paid return envelope. Tom Bradley won the voting that day but lost the absentee vote by a huge margin. This morning I went to Wikipedia and looked up this election and found that the following had been DELETED on 10-20-08 @ 11:43 PM:

"There is also another side to the story of the supposed racism in the defeat of Tom Bradley. The 'Bradley Effect' has been discredited by several respected people deeply involved in not only the campaign that year, but reporters as well. Gov. Jerry Brown lost a bid for the U.S. Senate that day by about a half-million votes to Pete Wilson, so to then make the leap that racism could be involved is a charge born upon the back of excuses for losing. It is a fact that Bradley stopped campaigning the final week of the election, as well as winning the actual voting on election day; however, he lost the absentee count by a huge margin."

The first I heard of "The Bradley Effect" has been in the run-up to the current election. The above deletion shows that tha absentee ballots swung the election to Deukmejian. My point is: We are being conditioned by the MSM to accept the "fact" that when the current election is "flipped" or otherwise stolen for McCain, we will readily accept the "The Bradley Effect" as the true cause. The following link is to the Wikipedia article before and after the editing: [8]

Stephen Fletcher
Fresno, CA


Well, Obama is not making the mistake of thinking that he can coast to victory. Quite the opposite. But of course there is the vote fraud effort. I am hoping that the margins will be so great that vote fraud will not work.