Politics

Why Obama Led the Polls, But Lost the Vote

My dad is a former newspaper man, who was based for most of his career in Washington, D.C.

He covered every Presidential campaign between 1964 and 2004.  A family tradition (that continues by phone every weekend) has been fun fierce debates about politics and elections.

A week ago, Dad said something that I dismissed out of hand — it just couldn’t be possible, among Democrats, in 2008 in America. He said that Obama could win in Iowa, with it’s public caucus format, but that in later primaries it might be tougher because some voters might not be willing to vote for a black man behind the privacy of a voting curtain.

And yet, here we are tonight trying to analyze why Hillary won the election when all of the polls — inlcuding her own internal tracking polls — showed her losing the vote by a margin of 10-15%. The panel tonight on MSNBC indeed focused in on the "Bradley Effect" — so named after Tom Bradley, because of similar discrepancies between the pre-election polls (which strongly favored Bradley) and the actual vote (which he lost narrowly) in the California gubernatorial election in 1982.

Is it possible that some white women, over 40, in New Hampshire (who voted so overwhelmingly for Hillary today) tell pollsters they supported Obama but in fact voted a different way?

Will be interesting to see how it plays out in the coming days. But it reminds me to listen to my Dad — he has knows more about politics than just about any one I know.

Standard