by John Hawkins | August 8, 2008 8:40 am
Question: “What do you think about the contention being thrown around by the left that Obama’s lead in the polls is understated because the polls use turnout assumptions that understate black and young-voter turnout this time.
Conservatives are used to left-leaning bias in political polls. Usually a 3% to 4% “lead” for the Dem translates into a dead heat on election day, so I would normally dismiss this as spin, particularly as it relates to “young voters.” But I’ve got to say, the contention that black turnout will be disproportionally greater than the assumptions in the polls this time around seems likely to me.” — RWNReader2
Answer: The polling agencies are capable of adjusting their numbers if they believe the percentages of young and black voters are going to be underrepresented with their current models, so I don’t expect that to be a big problem.
That being said, there is one thing the pollsters are going to have trouble accounting for and that’s the Bradley Effect which typically features white voters saying they’re for Obama or undecided because they’re afraid to be labeled as racist for voting against a black candidate.
What you tend to see with the Bradley Effect is that there is a larger than normal pool of undecideds and they break very heavily for the white candidate. When all is said and done, I expect there to be states that Obama consistently wins in the polls that he loses on election day. We’ll see if it plays out that way.
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