Bring on the Bradley Effect Speculation!

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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Ex-Gov. Wilder of Virginia thinks the old Bradley Effect (in which whites are scared to tell pollsters they’ll vote against the black candidate) is dead because whites are now shameless and perfectly willing to tell anyone they’ll vote against the black candidate. I suspect he’s generalizing too freely from the ability of tireless New York Times journalists to find a few subjects willing to go on the record saying they won’t vote for Obama “because he’s black.” For every one of those voters, though, how many other voters a) think the same way but don’t want to go on the record or b) have other reasons for voting against Obama–perhaps reasons they didn’t have four years ago–but still don’t want to tell pollsters?

Wilder instead predicts Obama will be plagued by a new, damaging variation of the Bradley Effect, in which disappointed blacks tell pollsters they’ll vote for Obama but then don’t vote.

This is a false choice. Obama can easily be plagued by both a Bradley Effect and a “Wilder Effect.”

Mickey Kaus