There is No Trump “Bradley Effect.” We Have Been Here Before. We Were Wrong Then Too.

Remember “The Bradley Effect”? California voters told pollsters back in 1982 that they were going to vote for the Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley, to be Governor, but then on election day Bradley lost to the Republican candidate, George Deukmejian. Bradley is black. Pollsters concluded that voters did not want to appear racist so they were telling pollsters they supported Bradley even though they did not.

The Bradley Effect is most likely not true. An independent analysis showed the Deukmejian campaign ran an aggressive under the radar absentee ballot campaign at the tail end of the race and that’s what shifted it more than anything. But the theory continues. In 2008, when polling had Barack Obama beating John McCain, Republicans consoled themselves that it was just the Bradley Effect. On election day, McCain would win.

In 2012, Republicans told themselves it was the Bradley Effect. People didn’t want to admit they were voting against the black guy nor that they were voting for a Mormon. The polling was skewed and people were lying to the pollsters. Don’t worry, Mitt Romney would win.

As I wrote yesterday, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Well, the Trump campaign clearly thinks you are fools. His campaign manager, a noted pollster, wants you to believe that Trump voters are too ashamed to admit they are Trump voters.

Well, establishment Republicans certainly are too ashamed to admit it, but I find more and more very bold Trump supporters.

The fact is that the polls are not wrong and if you believe they are wrong then you are again believing the same lies that Republicans told themselves in 2008 and 2012. And if you believe over and over the same lies, you really are a fool who has no business voting.

In states like South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and Utah — all states that are safely Republican, Trump voters would have no fear of admitting they are for Trump because all their neighbors are typically Republican. But the polling in those states is close. It is because Trump sucks as a candidate not because his voters are too chicken to admit they support him. Truth it truth and the truth is pollsters know how to do their jobs and the polling averages are a good indicator of where the race is.

And, by the way, how would the Trump campaign even know if these people are real if they are hiding and too afraid to tell anyone who they support?

About the author

Erick Erickson

View all posts