Thursday, November 06, 2008

So much for the Bradley Effect

Before the election there was a great deal of talk about the so-called Bradley Effect, referring to the fact that former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley, a moderate black Democrat, ran for governor in 1982 (against George Deukmejian) and the polls showed him ahead up until the day before the election, but he lost. The Bradley Effect is supposed to bne white voters telling pollsters they support a black candidate so they won't sound bigoted, then going out and voting against him.

I was in California, writing editorials for the Register in 1982, and I remember a few things some have forgotten. Also on the ballot that year was Prop. 15, a gun-control measure whose details I have forgotten, but I'm about 98% sure Bradley supported it. Anyway, it brought out the pro-gun people in more force than usual to defeat it (I think it was leading in the polls too) and while they were at it they voted against Bradley. I'm reasonably sure race had little or nothing to do with it. Jerry Brown was running for the Senate that year and leading in the polls, and he lost also.

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