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Will race swing the vote?

  • Oct. 18th, 2008 at 2:00 PM
Though it is still early, it does appear, if the polls are indeed correct, that Senator Obama holds the edge over his rival Senator McCain. However, there is an apprehension in some quarters that this could be reversed by fears of electing an African-American candidate as the next President of the United States; what some commentators have alluded to as the "Bradley effect". So, how crucial do you think would race be in defining the final outcome of this seemingly historic election.



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polarisdib wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 09:28 am (UTC)
Can't tell because I can't speak for other people, but concepts like "Obamamania" and its associated popular culture participation lead me to believe that most positive poll results are indeed legitimate. I for one have heard first hand more excitement about Obama than I've even heard negative or positive response to McCain, though I am not an official opinion poll source and I do happen to live in what is essentially a blue island in a red state. Nonetheless, Obama gets people talking and race has remained the obscure undercurrent, not the standing point, of this election, due in part by the success of both sides to evade mentioning it. We always have racist bastards running around, but we can't hinge our bets on those assholes anyway. I'd prefer trusting the hype than worrying.

witherwings wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 10:34 am (UTC)
This article at fivethirtyeight.com is a very interesting exploration of the "Bradley Effect" and how much (or not) of an impact it could have on the race come 4th November.

Edited at 2008-10-18 10:36 am (UTC)
tyskkvinna wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
Awesome, I came in here to link to that article too. :)

Also -- While I think it is conceivable that the election will be "tipped" by race (either people voting against him, or for him) I think the far more likely group of voters to "tip" it are simply going to be first-time voters.
heavenly_action wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 11:27 am (UTC)
What is interesting is the folks going to vote early. I mean, wouldn't people have had the opportunity for two years to be scared off by race and maybe come around from that fear? The exception being those people that are out right racist and nothing is going to convince them otherwise. We may not truly know before the votes are counted but I plan to vote on Monday and Obama has my vote.
metafrantic wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
Here's another well-thought-out article arguing that the Bradley effect was a myth, borne from poor polling rather than racism. It also points out how different things were in the early 80's (when the "Bradley Effect" originated) compared to now.

I'm certain that racism will cause the numbers to shift at least a little, but I'm not convinced it will be at all dramatic. I think that any polls with a margin greater than the margin of error are pretty certain, and those barely within the margin of error are probably safe too.
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
I think the biggest challenge will be people actually getting to the polls, not whether people correctly stated their intentions.

I've also heard some talk about a reverse-Bradley, and we may more likely see that, especially among evangelicals who may now be more worried about their wallets than anything else.
mefan wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
I would be more concerned for polling discrepancies in general than for the Bradley effect specifically. The fact that some individuals lie when answering polling questions is one of the biggest headaches for any pollster - the Bradley effect is only a somewhat legitimate explaination for why it occurs (it's not limited to race; the last time it happened in large numbers was during the 2004 presidential race, for example).

Those who study political science - more particularly the science of polling and information management - are more likely to argue that what concerns them the most is the dreaded inaccurate exit polling figures. Inaccurate and incomplete exit polling is more likely to drive the way people vote than any other type of polling. Further, accurate exit polling can have the same effect. If, for example, early exit polls on 4 November show that Obama has a strong lead, previous research of the phenomena has proven that Obama voters are less likely to go to the polls (the reasoning is 'Why should I bother, he's already ahead and going to win'). This was a huge issue in 2004 for Kerry and has been an issue in many smaller elections as well. There has even been some debate that the Bush machine planted the misinformation in 2004. It's also been suggested that many Bush supporters lied to exit pollsters in 2004. I'm not entirely convinced that either theory is true; although, I do believe it is likely that many voters did lie about their vote to exit pollsters, democrat and republican alike.

So to answer the question, as an Obama supporter, the Bradley effect doesn't concern me nearly as much as a number of other factors do. The first being exit polling - accurate and inaccurate. Personally, I hate exit polls as they are proven to sway the way voters react on election day. Also, the weather. Yes, the weather. It's also a proven fact in election studies that republicans moreso than democrats are willing to brave nasty weather in order to cast their ballot. Florida is another concern. Obama has pulled into the lead (barely) in Florida recently; however, they are so close that I'm afraid of a repeat of 2000. Add to that the Florida ballot this time around (they showed a picture of it on CNN and I'm just glad I don't have to vote in Florida - take the day off work, Floridians, is all I'm saying) and there is a strong possibility that something similar to the 2000 fiasco may occur. And democrat or republican, Obama supporter or McCain supporter, I think we can all agree that our economy especially cannot afford another Supreme Court challenge and twenty-plus days of uncertainty to find out who the next president is going to be.
isara wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
A couple of the contributors to this LJ keep posting with colored text. This is what comes out:

bossiballs wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
Would or will?
Not at all really.

In my opinion Society has got it that the colour of ones skin,
is no longer an "issue."

There is a quality that being black seems to sustain, which has become
a positive take on our multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-just about everything Global society.

Which seems to ring true to all of us.
dark_senshi wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
It seems like it is affecting the election a bit. Though, mostly on Obama's side.

Racism against white people is still racism.
sophia_sadek wrote:
Oct. 19th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
It's shameless, isn't it.
Isn't it simply awful how those Obama supporters denigrate people who are genetically and culturally inbred? They should treat them with the respect due to the disabled.
dark_senshi wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC)
Re: It's shameless, isn't it.
Oh? So, now I'm inbred and disabled?

I've even seen black people, who are voting for McCain, being called horrible things.

If you're not voting for Obama, you're racist; it's extremely annoying. I haven't ever been racist, nor do I ever hope to be. However, I do want McCain to win.
sophia_sadek wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
Re: It's shameless, isn't it.
It may not be a good idea to admit to supporting McCain in public. Since the Klan has endorsed McCain, it could have negative ramifications for you personally. I would never want people to associate me with a candidate who has Klan backing.

Even if you are not a member of the Klan yourself, you have at least one friend who is a member. The Klan is sneaky enough that they could use you as a scape goat by pinning something on you that you never did.
dark_senshi wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
Re: It's shameless, isn't it.
Oh, but voting for a candidate who has a terrorist endorsing him is all fine and dandy?

LOL, the Klan is actually voting for Obama. They endorsed McCain to make people vote for Obama.

You see, they believe in something called 'Rahowa', the Racial Holy War. If Obama wins, they believe the race war will happen. u.u They're idiots, personally. Innocent people will die, merely because some people hate black people. -_-'

So, yeah... McCain/Palin '08!

thelivingword wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
The main way it is influencing this race is that most black people are voting for Obama. (though certainly not all) If that were the case with white people, which it isn't (as in most voting against him) then we would say it is racist. But race still is a major issue when that is the reason for voting for a candidate. I doubt that we will ever see the day when people are color blind.
aedruad wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
The way we handle race relations in America is so disjointed it is impossible to tell what the genuine impact is. I personally doubt Obama's race has played much of an issue, but you can be sure that no matter the result of the election, it will be perceived that Obama's race was the determining factor. If he wins, it will be because he offers genuine change and a new vision. But people will say it was the support of the black community. If he loses, it will be because his vision for America was too radical for Americans to accept. But people will say it was racism that defeated him. It's a sad situation, but no matter what the actual impact has been, the perception will be that race is the major factor.
ysabetwordsmith wrote:
Oct. 18th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
Based on general observations and McCain's scurrilous campain slurs, I suspect that racism will cost Obama a large number of votes.

The plummeting economy may well cost McCain more votes, though.
princekermit wrote:
Oct. 19th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
I'll answer that question if you'll answer me this: how many times will this exact same question be asked in this forum? Everybody wants to know, but no one will know until the end.
izzywinkle wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
I really think, a lot of voters will vote on race. Like.. I thnkk a lot of white voters will say. "Ill vote for Barack" ... but when it comes down toit.. I think those few white voters, when they're just about to cast their vote will be too afraid to do so. To vote for a black man... a lot of people will be afraid, since. That would be saying. This man may be smarter than me. That subconscious racism there lol. IDK when Im typing it doesnt make much since. D| but if i were speaking in person i would make more since. sorry. bah.
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