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Author Topic: Paper Finds that Bradley/Wilder Effect Has Disappeared With Crime/Poverty issues  (Read 14675 times)
Lunar
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« on: September 19, 2008, 05:56:54 pm »
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http://people.iq.harvard.edu/~dhopkins/wilder13.pdf

Marc Ambinder's summary:
Hopkins looked at all senatorial and gubernatorial races that featured a woman or an African-American candidate from 1989 to 2006 -- a total of 133 races. For each, he found at least one poll released within a month of Election Day, enabling him to measure the gap between a candidate's polling and performance.

Hopkins finds some evidence that African-American candidates suffered from something resembling a Wilder effect before 1996, but since then, the effect seems to have disappeared.

This becomes the key finding of Hopkins's study: The Wilder effect is not a durable phenomenon. Rather, it is dependent on particular political conditions.

His theory is that when racially charged issues like welfare and crime dominated the political rhetoric, racial factors affected voting behavior and the Wilder effect asserted itself. But once welfare disappeared as a salient issue in 1996, political discourse was deracialized and race was less of a factor in voters' mind.

Hopkins finds that the salience of racial factors depends on the tone of the national environment, not on the tone of local candidates. He explains that black candidates before 1996 were victim of the Wilder effect whether or not they ran a deracialized campaign; after 1996, white candidates were not able to benefit from that effect even when they attempted to exploit racially charged issues. This also applies to the Democratic primaries of 2008, where Hopkins finds that there was no Wilder effect affecting Obama's performance.

To preempt possible concerns about his study's validity, Hopkins takes a look at alternative explanations for the polling-performance gap. First, he considered whether the Wilder effect only affects African-American candidates or whether it hurts other under-represented groups. Analyzing races that featured a female candidate, he finds that women do not suffer from any Wilder effect - quite the contrary, female candidates on average perform better than their polling indicated.

Second, Hopkins considers the possibility that the polling-performance gap can be attributed to what he calls the "front-runner's fall." Hopkins explains that front-runners' support can be overstated because of their higher name recognition and because of classical regression to the mean, making it necessary to account for such an effect before determining what impact racial bias in Wilder or Dinkins' decline. After running additional tests, Hopkins determines that some of the polling-performance gap can be attributed to a front-runners' fall, but that the Wilder effect is still at play.

In other words, the Wilder effect tends to increase in function of an African-American candidate's initial support. Hopkins argues that this leads to the hype that surrounds the Wilder effect. The candidates that are most associated to that effect - Wilder, Dinkins and Bradley - were all favored to win. That is what got their campaigns so much coverage in the first place and it made their performance gap that much more dramatic - creating a somewhat naďve buzz around the Wilder effect.

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/has_the_wilder_effect_disappea.php
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Lunar
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2008, 06:51:06 pm »
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Oh, by the way, USelectionatlas.org gets a shout out on page 9!
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2008, 07:44:19 pm »
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One thing for sure.  We will have confirmation one way or the other in about 6 weeks.
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Lunar
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2008, 07:50:34 pm »
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Actually, we won’t.  The Bradley Effect cannot be “proven” by one election since there are many reasons polls can be off, including ground game and oversampling bias.
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2008, 07:54:04 pm »
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The author is a friend of mine.  He knows more about U.S. voting patterns than anyone I know, so I bet he's done his homework here.
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J. J.
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2008, 07:58:11 pm »
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Since it seemed to pop up in 2006, I think it's still there.  However, the strength of it in diminishing.
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J. J.

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Lunar
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2008, 08:08:26 pm »
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JJ, ONE affirmative action initiative where exit polls didn’t correlate with the actual result isn’t enough to proved the effect’s continued existence.   ONE election cannot prove or disprove the effect, let alone something completely asymmetrical to what we're talking about.

 How do you explain, as in the original article, the absence of any Bradley Effect (in fact, a slight reverse one if anything) in Harold Ford’s election in Tennessee, a state full of working class whites no less. 

Surely you can see that people would lie about an affirmative action initiative in order to not seem racist but tell the truth about not voting for a black candidate.  Not to mention exit-polling is done IN PERSON - completely different, completely different.

In addition, the author of the article ran 10k simulations of selecting 5 random states from the primaries and in every single one of them, Barack Obama was underpolled not overpolled.
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2008, 08:41:39 pm »
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On the other hand, there is Reverand Wright.
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Lunar
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2008, 08:46:42 pm »
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On the other hand, there is Reverand Wright.


There’s no question that a lot of people won’t vote for Obama because he’s black.  The question is whether they lie to the pollsters to hide their racism or if they feel mentally comfortable openly admitting their vote.  Even if undecideds break for the white candidate, that’s not the Bradley Effect.

As I said, in 2006, Harold Ford was underpolled slightly instead of overpolled.  And that race was highly polarized around racial issues, with possibly the most overtly racist ad of the modern era running (“Harold, call me!”).
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2008, 09:05:12 pm »
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JJ, ONE affirmative action initiative where exit polls didn’t correlate with the actual result isn’t enough to proved the effect’s continued existence.   ONE election cannot prove or disprove the effect, let alone something completely asymmetrical to what we're talking about.

 How do you explain, as in the original article, the absence of any Bradley Effect (in fact, a slight reverse one if anything) in Harold Ford’s election in Tennessee, a state full of working class whites no less. 

Surely you can see that people would lie about an affirmative action initiative in order to not seem racist but tell the truth about not voting for a black candidate.  Not to mention exit-polling is done IN PERSON - completely different, completely different.

In addition, the author of the article ran 10k simulations of selecting 5 random states from the primaries and in every single one of them, Barack Obama was underpolled not overpolled.


Ford's race was one of the few and, the primaries do not equeal the general.  I frankly have never heard of a Bradley effect in a primary.
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J. J.

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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2008, 09:11:48 pm »
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Have you looked?

Do you see the infinite number or problems of using:
a single race, an affirmative action initiative, and person-to-person exit polling

to prove a point about

a larger phenomenon, a well-known multifacted politician with MANY non-racist reasons to dislike him (AA is sort of narrow of a topic), phone-interviews

when

All recent evidence, including parallel phone polling in 33 primaries relevant to this particular black candidate and multiple state-wide senate and governor races says the opposite?  You're grasping onto what, at best, is a tangent example, to disregard perhaps 50 ACTUAL examples. 

Asking people, in person, how they feel about a racial issue like affirmative action might get them to lie when asking them on the phone who they're going to vote for might not.  You do understand the difference, right?
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J. J.
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2008, 09:16:22 pm »
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Do you have any examples when a Bradley effect occurred in a Democratic Primary?  Recently?
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J. J.

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Lunar
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2008, 09:17:39 pm »
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Do you have any examples when a Bradley effect occurred in a Democratic Primary?  Recently?

Do you have any examples where it didn't?  I'd have to go back before 1996 if this paper is correct and I don't know if I can find primary info from back then easily. 

But fine, let's ignore the Democratic primaries, you're still wrong to cite Michigan 2006 as ANYTHING relevant to the topic at hand.  See above.
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2008, 09:22:01 pm »
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People are much more open about their racism these days. Just look at the Democratic primary exit polls from OH, WV, MS, etc.
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What are you talking about Duke?  Things are great so far.   I do have to cling to God no matter what.  I have nothing against this at all,  but in my class there are 9 blacks and 4 whites.  African Americans are quite prevalent in that part of Tulsa.  I don't mind it at all,  but it is an interesting fact in white Oklahoma.
Lunar
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2008, 09:23:32 pm »
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Lynn Swann in Pennsylvania, Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio, and Deval Patrick in Massachusetts.

Oops, they all didn't have a noticeable Bradley Effect either if you look at them holistically.

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J. J.
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2008, 09:31:41 pm »
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Do you have any examples when a Bradley effect occurred in a Democratic Primary?  Recently?

Do you have any examples where it didn't?


1988, in the presidential primaries, so far as I can remember.

We might have had it in VA in 1989 with Wilder.  Other than Bradley, there was no mention of it before that (I don't know if there was a primary or if it was contested).

Quote
But fine, let's ignore the Democratic primaries, you're still wrong.  See above.

Just cited.

Now, the questions are, how strong, and is it more prevalent in certain demographics.
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J. J.

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Lunar
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2008, 09:35:34 pm »
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Can you stop nitpicking the primary subpoint and actually answer my post please. 

I'll repeat it for you:


Do you see the infinite number or problems of using:
a single race, an affirmative action initiative, and person-to-person exit polling

to prove a point about

a larger phenomenon, a well-known multifacted politician with MANY non-racist reasons to dislike him (AA is sort of narrow of a topic), phone-interviews

when

All recent evidence, including parallel phone polling in 33 primaries relevant to this particular black candidate and multiple state-wide senate and governor races says the opposite?  You're grasping onto what, at best, is a tangent example, to disregard perhaps 50 ACTUAL examples.

Asking people, in person, how they feel about a racial issue like affirmative action might get them to lie when asking them on the phone who they're going to vote for might not.  You do understand the difference, right?
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2008, 09:51:26 pm »
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Can you stop nitpicking the primary subpoint and actually answer my post please. 

I'll repeat it for you:


Do you see the infinite number or problems of using:
a single race, an affirmative action initiative, and person-to-person exit polling

to prove a point about

a larger phenomenon, a well-known multifacted politician with MANY non-racist reasons to dislike him (AA is sort of narrow of a topic), phone-interviews

when

All recent evidence, including parallel phone polling in 33 primaries relevant to this particular black candidate and multiple state-wide senate and governor races says the opposite?  You're grasping onto what, at best, is a tangent example, to disregard perhaps 50 ACTUAL examples.

Asking people, in person, how they feel about a racial issue like affirmative action might get them to lie when asking them on the phone who they're going to vote for might not.  You do understand the difference, right?


I think you're learning why good debaters (or lawyers for that matter in criminal trials and such) don't raise 10 good points, they only raise one or two and keep repeating them. The more points you raise, the easier it is for your opponent to latch onto one of them that might be slightly questionable and beat you over the head with it to cause you to lose credibility on your other 9 points without having to actually answer any of those 9 directly.

One race where there might have arguably been a Bradley effect is the Maryland 2006 Senate race. But yes, it was definitely not present and was possibly even in reverse in many other races (2006 PA Governor, OH Governor, TN Senate).

In the case of Tennessee I think the idea of a reverse Bradley effect makes some sense. Perhaps white voters there didn't want to admit publicly they were backing the black candidate but did so in the privacy of the voting booth; this could well happen in highly racially polarized areas.
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J. J.
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2008, 10:11:47 pm »
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Can you stop nitpicking the primary subpoint and actually answer my post please. 

I will if you stop citing primaries.  Smiley

PA was the only one I looked at and I could find a grand total of three polls, from September.  Two were bad.  It didn't show up on the good one, the 'bots, but it did show up slightly on Zogby, not a great poll.

It's not big, but it could be up to a 1.5 point difference.  It's hard to tell in a landslide.

I'll check MA.


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J. J.

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J. J.
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« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2008, 10:22:19 pm »
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It might have occurred in Patrick's case in 2006, bit more of people saying they were undecided and voting for Healey.

http://campaigns.wikia.com/wiki/Deval_Patrick/Polls

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=8d744a71-5bc6-43b9-bd0b-729d88f0f5ff&c=24

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2006/10/new_poll_has_pa.html

http://www.boston.com/news/local/politics/candidates/articles/2006/10/25/poll_indicates_big_boost_in_patricks_lead/

Again not a great number of polls and not great ones.

This looks to be 2-9 points.
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J. J.

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"Every government are parliaments of whores.
The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us." - P. J. O'Rourke

"Wa sala, wa lala."

(Zulu for, "You snooze, you lose.")
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« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2008, 10:27:09 pm »
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As the article Lunar quoted stated however, in races that are not close the polls tend to overstate the margin for the candidate leading.
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« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2008, 10:38:24 pm »
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Black people running for public office isn't the novelty it once was.
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J. J.
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« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2008, 10:46:15 pm »
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As the article Lunar quoted stated however, in races that are not close the polls tend to overstate the margin for the candidate leading.

Well, other than Ford, how many "not close" races were there?  Smiley

In PA, that nasty Zogby poll understated it.  In the Patrick case, Healey's numbers were fairly consistent.  The only one where it didn't occur was Ford.
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J. J.

"Actually, .. now that you mention it...." 
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"Every government are parliaments of whores.
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« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2008, 10:53:44 pm »
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Black people running for public office isn't the novelty it once was.

When it gets to statewide a statewide candidate, excluding primaries, and excluding landslides, yes it is.
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J. J.

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"Every government are parliaments of whores.
The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us." - P. J. O'Rourke

"Wa sala, wa lala."

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« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2008, 10:57:53 pm »
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I'm going to post something lengthy on this tomorrow.  Smiley
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