[Marxism] Reverse Bradley effect

Charles Brown charlesb at cncl.ci.detroit.mi.us
Fri May 9 09:24:42 MDT 2008

If this study is an accurate observation, then it is both a change and
hopeful ( to coin a phrase) ,because it seems to be evidence of
anti-racist conduct by white people.


Posted on LBO-talk:

The Race Factor Redux

by Anthony G. Greenwald, professor of psychology, University of  
Washington and Bethany Albertson, assistant professor of political  
science, University of WashingtonMay 8, 2008
As this year's primaries and caucuses have progressed, we have been  
analyzing polling data to see if race still plays a role in American  
politics. Our research suggests that race is, indeed, still a  
significant factor in determining electoral outcomes, but that it  
showed up in surprising ways in tallies from some of the states  
holding Democratic primary elections so far this year (see discussion 

below). The results of last Tuesday's Indiana and North Carolina open 

primaries provide further evidence of the effects we observed earlier.
The discrepancy between pre-election polls in North Carolina and the  
actual vote was, given the relative size of the state's black  
population, almost exactly as we had predicted from the previously  
observed discrepancies between pre-election polls and actual vote  
Indiana, however, deviated slightly from what our observations of  
earlier primaries suggested: Clinton received about 7% fewer votes  
than the analysis had predicted. In other words, strictly on the  
basis of Indiana's heavily white population, Clinton's margin of  
victory should have been significantly larger than the two percentage 

points actually recorded and larger even than the 5-point margin that 

pre-election polls predicted on average.

Earlier Analysis

The so-called "Bradley effect" was first noticed by survey  
researchers in 1982 when black Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley had a  
solid lead in the pre-election gubernatorial polls, but lost a close  
election in California to his Republican opponent. Results from that  
and other races involving black candidates indicated that, for  
whatever reason, pre-election polling tended to overstate support for 

black candidates compared with their actual vote percentages.

Throughout this year's primary season, we have been comparing data  
from pre-election polls with actual voting patterns as revealed in  
exit polls to see if the Bradley effect is still operative. In  
research we jointly undertook last December, we analyzed data from an 

online test that measures unconscious or automatic preferences2. On  
the basis of our findings, we surmised that the Bradley effect might  
well repeat itself in 2008. Our more recent findings, however,  
suggest a more complicated pattern.

Analysis of primary counts and polling data from the early primaries, 

including those held before and on Super Tuesday (February 5),  
indicated that pre-election polls did indeed exaggerate support for  
Sen. Barack Obama in three states with relatively low black  
populations -- New Hampshire, California and Massachusetts. But the  
reverse was true in South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia, where blacks 

make up a larger bloc of voters.

As shown in the graph, the findings in South Carolina, Alabama and  
Georgia suggested to us the discovery of a new "reverse" Bradley  
effect, i.e., that in states with relatively large African American  
populations, pre-primary polls tended to underestimate support for  
Obama. (View a larger version of the graph)


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