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The Presidential Campaign: Love It! Tired of It!

Oct 21, 2008

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Two views of the presidential election we're hearing:
1) Can't wait for it to be over.
2) Can't wait for it to be over, but I have enjoyed every minute of it (except for the parts I didn't like).

So we are coming down to the home stretch. After initially resisting the conversation about the so-called "Bradley effect" we decided to talk about it today because we thought we had something to add. Now the Bradley effect refers to the phenomenon of people allegedly overstating their willingness to vote for an African-American candidate. It refers to Democrat Tom Bradley's loss in the 1982 gubernatorial campaign.

Bradley, the former Mayor of Los Angeles, was leading in the polls in his campaign against Republican George Deukmejian but wound up losing by a narrow margin. Blair Levin, who actually worked on the Bradley campaign wrote an op ed in The New York Times saying he thinks there really was no such effect. The issue was not a distortion in the polling but rather that there was a significant Republican GOTV — that's "get out the vote" — effort with absentee and rural voters that the Democrats (and pollsters) had not accounted for.
Blair Levin and Ron Lester, a veteran Democratic pollster who has worked with a very diverse roster of candidates, gave us their take on whether this is real or not.

And, new information about African-American voters: What difference will they make? A Washington think tank has new data.

Plus, our Mocha Moms' conversation on talking politics with kids. A new mom to the panel, Joan Countrymen, who helped start Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, was with us.

We'd really like to know what you think.... Racial overtones in the campaign: to discuss or not to discuss with the little people? That is the question!

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