From Pine View Farm

Was the Bradley Effect a Misreading of What Actually Happened? 0

Blair Levin, who worked on the 1982 Bradley campaign, says yes: that, although race might have been part of the “Bradley Effect,” it was, if not a neglible element, hardly the most significant element of the discrepancy between the polling and the polls.

So what was the reason Bradley lost if it wasn’t a matter of white people lying to pollsters? It’s rather simple, Levin says in his op-ed and in an interview he granted to Michel Martin of National Public Radio [NPR].

“But he wasn’t losing because of race. He was losing because an unpopular gun control initiative and an aggressive Republican absentee ballot program generated hundreds of thousands of Republican votes no pollster anticipated, giving Mr. Deukmejian a narrow victory,” Levin wrote. “This is not to say that race wasn’t an issue; it was in 1982 and it has been since. But to those who keep citing the Bradley effect–not so fast. It’s more complicated than you think.”

Levin told NPR’s Martin that the Republican Party spent close to $1 million to get GOP voters to vote by absentee ballots. The year 1982 was particularly significant as well because it was the first year California residents were permitted to vote by absentee ballot–without a legitimate reason.

NPR’s Day-To-Day explored the issue in a story last week. Similar points were made about the surprisingly high Republican turnout from the Central Valley of California generated in great part by the gun control issue. Follow the link to see the synopsis and listen to the story.


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