Ghost of Bradley Effect
Friday, July 03, 2009
We recorded this interview during the presidential campaign when the "Bradley effect" was getting a lot of media play. The term comes from Tom Bradley's 1982 California gubernatorial campaign, in which the discrepancy between polling (which predicted he was ahead) and the actual result (he lost) was attributed to white voters not being able to pull the lever for a black candidate. But Democratic and Republican strategists who worked on that campaign tell us there was no Bradley effect even for Bradley. And Nate Silver of the blog 538 says the misnamed phenomenon hasn't been observed since the early 1990s.