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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:29 pm 
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Sad... but certainly not a surprise or any big shock.

We are going to find out just how far we have come as a nation in six weeks time. I do think we have come far. But as this survey indicates, when four in ten Democrats harbor negative feelings toward African Americans, the Bradley effect is a distinct possibility of surfacing on election day.

I have said repeatedly that Obama needs at least a five point lead in the polls on Election Day to overcome any possible Bradley effect. This poll seems to dovetail with that. I hope and pray all the cynics are wrong - myself included.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:54 pm 
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Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight has an excellent critique of the AP article here. He points out that Fournier and Tompson cite the study without disclosing its methodology; that it's a study of "all adults," not "registered voters" or "likely voters," and thus samples a different population; and that it doesn't take any account of the number of people who will vote for Obama because he is black, which should offset some of those who vote against him because he is black.

Silver, whose analyses I respect, believes strongly that the Bradley effect—people saying in polls they will vote for a black candidate who then vote for the white one on election day—no longer exists.

Quote:
It did not exist in the primaries, and it did not exist in the 2006 Senate race in Tennessee, which was perhaps the most racially-tinged contest of the past decade (in fact, Harold Ford slightly outperformed the late polls).


Here's Silver's most recent post on the topic: The Persistent Myth of the Bradley Effect.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:01 am 
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Very interesting, Prim. Silver certainly makes a compelling case. I hope he is right.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:25 am 
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He's a baseball stats guy originally, Voronwë—of course he's right. :P

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:47 am 
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I will join in the choir of voices hoping that the Bradley effect is dead and buried.

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:59 am 
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There's a pretty impressive table in Silver's second article linked above, showing exactly how much Obama outperformed the final trendline estimate from Pollster.com for each state during the primaries: 3.3% on average, meaning he did that much better relative to Clinton than the trendline (a poll composite) indicated.

With a Bradley effect, of course, he'd have underperformed by some amount reflecting the number of racists who lied to pollsters.

interestingly, Obama's best job of outperforming the polls at the ballot box was in the South: he did 7.2% better, on average, than the trendline indicated he would.

Silver isn't arguing, and neither would I, that racism is dead or that it won't cost Obama votes. He's arguing that the polls already reflect the racist vote, whatever it may be—that racists voting against Obama can and do claim to a pollster that they oppose him for legitimate reasons, and so they are already in the "not Obama" column.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:06 am 
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I saw that table. Impressive. But as one of the commenters responding to the piece pointed out, there is not necessarily a direct correlation between the primary races and the general election. The Bradley effect may not exist among Democrats voting in a primary, but still exist among some voters that are independents are otherwise avoid voting in primaries. I'm not saying that it does, only that it is possible. Only time will tell.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:11 am 
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It's possible, yes, although some of those primaries were open and included independents, and some independents registered as Democrats so they could vote in closed primaries.

I think the results of the Virginia Senate race in 2006, which Silver mentions, are a pretty compelling argument: Harold Ford beat George Allen by a slightly larger margin than the last polls indicated.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:13 am 
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I believe that racism will affect the voting, but I am cautiously optimistic that Obama will win anyway. Cautiously optimistic.

There is many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip, as the old saying goes.

Do not count them chickens till the eggs is hatched.

Etc., etc.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:38 am 
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You would be a wonderful addition to the commenters at FiveThirtyEight, vison. :D Ten days ago a lot of McCain supporters were crowing about how it was over, Obama was toast, pack it in, let's all go home. This week, of course, a lot of Obama supporters are crowing about how it's over, McCain is toast, pack it in, let's all go home. When of course they're all wrong, as you could most ably point out.

(It's a great site, but the signal-to-noise ratio in the comments is not what it might be.)

I plan to predict the results of the election sometime around 8:30 PST on the morning of Wednesday, November 5th. (It would be later, but I have to go to the dentist.) You watch and see if I'm not 100% right. That's how it's done.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:43 am 
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How's this for blatant?

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=168561&title=indecision-2008-west-virginia

:shock:

PS: I think I have a man crush on Jon Stewart


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:25 am 
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Well, West Virginia is not going to go for Obama anyway, so it doesn't, in fact, matter to the election. (To be speculative, but I think with some basis: he'll win without WV, easily.)

And, yes, those are some majorly embarrassing clips for West Virginia; but I guarantee something similar (clips of a few embarrassing racist or ignorant voters) could be found anywhere, including New York or California.

And, y'know, crushes on Jon Stewart come in all kinds of flavors. Just sayin'.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:41 pm 
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Dick Meyer on npr.org has a very thoughtful column on the subject on race and this election.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=94733622

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:14 pm 
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That's an interesting article, sf...

Bill Cosby always had a lot to say about racism.

"The controversial speech that would have saved Obama's campaign... was delivered on the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education by a man who really has transcended race. On that day, Bill Cosby said, "Brown Versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem." He said "We cannot blame white people." And he spoke about a culture of accountability as the only path to success for Black America.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/03/obama_as_mortal_blame_america_1.asp"


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:49 pm 
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Two things: one is an article that was quoted in the electoral-vote site's blog. I tracked down a copy.

http://www.redroom.com/blog/tim-wise/th ... ge-updated
Sure, it's a polemic.

Another was a TV programme I watched last week about a British Socialist politician of a sort that would be unthinkable in the US but commonplace in Europe: Aneuryn Bevan, the post war creator of our National Health Service. He formed a deep friendship with Paul Robeson and gave him moral support when his passport was taken from him. Robeson made great friends with the Welsh mining community that Bevin himself came from and represented politically.
Robeson's son told how the Welsh coal miners choir made a radio concert in support of Robeson in the 1950's and on hearing it Robeson broke down and wept and told his son that that gesture of friendship had saved his life. Among other songs they had sung for him, 'We'll keep a welcome in the hillside, we'll keep a welcome in the vales....... when you come home again to Wales.'
Working class miners don't have to be racist.

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