Experts Expound

The Experts Expound

“A wild night in New Hampshire! But a question arises: Is the “Bradley effect” at work here? Did race skew the pre-primary polls in New Hampshire that showed Obama way over Clinton because people don’t like to acknowledge that race plays a role in their choice of candidates?

Sometimes, polls are just wrong, which is a good thing if you believe that voters who vote — not a statistically significant sample of likely voters — should decide elections.

I think the better question is not race-related but goes to the quality of the polling. We have seen various polls be off and in this case, way off. The question is, Why? And what can the pollsters do better?

What? And race didn’t enter into the vote in Iowa? The problem in the New Hampshire polling was they couldn’t really model the independent vote accurately and they underestimated the over-50 female vote. Bottom line is, the race is fluid.

You bet.

No, I don’t believe that was a factor at all. It certainly wasn’t in Iowa, which is 95 percent white. In Tennessee in 2006, Harold Ford actually finished stronger in the Senate race than the final polls suggested, not weaker. Same with Deval Patrick in Massachusetts. I think what happened in New Hampshire is that many voters, especially Democratic women, just got ticked at the notion that Hillary Clinton was being instantly written off, particularly by all the male talking heads on TV.  And they did what New Hampshire voters often do: be contrarians to the common wisdom.  Race had very little to do with the final outcome.

 Polls are right more often not, but they are snapshots in time and clearly not able to account for the fact that nearly 15,000 female voters either made up or changed their minds in the last 24 hours.  I refuse to believe that 10 percent of the sample of every poll — we’re talking about roughly 80 New Hampshire Democrat women per survey — essentially lied to pollsters because of race or an innate sense of white guilt.

You can’t make judgments like this without a trend. If the Iowa polls had overestimated Obama’s support, that would be one thing. But sometimes the unexpected happens without racism involved.

I think that a state that has Election Day voter registration makes it very dicey to put too much faith in these public polls.  The real winner on Tuesday was the American people who are embracing the message of change — whatever that means.

The results suggest a majority of white males found it easier to vote for a white woman than a black man.

Probably not, and there was no “Bradley effect.” That was a myth.  Bradley lost because Republicans ran an absentee ballot campaign that skewed the polling results and because there was a gun control measure on the ballot that brought out far more rural voters than were expected.

The people from whom we sought opinions:: Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Morgan Crinklaw, J. Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio, Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Gary South, Kevin Spillane, Rich Zeiger.


Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: