In 1982, Tom Bradley was a long-time mayor of Los Angeles, California — and very well liked. He became the Democratic Party’s candidate for Governor of California, running against George Deukmejian. The polls in the days before the election showed Bradley with a significant lead. The exit polls also showed him with a significant lead. Mr. Bradley lost. Why? Did I mention that he was black? Should that make a difference? To some, I guess it did.
So, what went on here? There must have been a lot of people who, when it came time to vote, simply would not have a black man as the leader of their state. No matter what they said to the poll taker, they were not about to vote for a black man. He may have been the better qualified, but he did not have a Northern European complexion.
That was 1982. Over the years as more and more blacks entered politics, this ugly scar from past years popped up many times. Black candidates did win but by margins much smaller than the polls indicated. The 1983 Chicago race between Harold Washington, a black man and Bernard Epton, white, showed a 14 point lead for Washington. He won — by less than 4 points.
In the 1989 race for Mayor of New York, a poll showed David Dinkins holding an 18 point lead over Rudy Giuliani. Dinkins won by 2 points. This goes on and on. There are many interesting stories that you can find on Wikipedia under “Bradley effect”. That’s where I found these.
I hope you enjoyed this short history lesson, but what’s the point? I would say that if you are going to vote for President Obama the polling news looks pretty good and if you are for Romney — well, not so good.
If you are for Romney, don’t be so sure that your man is losing. If you are for Obama, don’t breathe easy just yet.
It is now politically incorrect to make references to a president’s race as a reason for not voting for him, so, instead, a racist will say something, like, “well, he was born in Kenya and, hence, not qualified to be president”. I want to see his birth certificate. I want to see the long form, the short form, etc. As we saw by the “birther” phenomena, there are a lot of racist in our country. Pretty sad.