Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can He Lose? Obama that is!

Can Barack Obama Lose?

It is his election to lose! According to most of the media outlet polls, Obama has a double digit lead toward election in three weeks. But what if Obama experiences the Bradley effect? The Bradley effect is when people are polled about who they plan to vote for but actually vote for someone else. This term was coined after the 1982 California gubernatorial race where longtime Democratic Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley who is black lost to his Republican contender, George Deukmjian, who is white, after being well ahead in the polls. Some think that there is a tendency among the polling public to give information that is inaccurate to be socially desirable. That a candidate can be leading in a poll and still lose an election calls into question the validity of the poll in the first place. All polls always show you a margin for error of +/- so many points. There are two independent polls that currently show Obama with only a 5 – 7 point lead: Rasmussen and Zogby. Yet most of the media outlet polls show a more commanding double digit lead for the Senator from Illinois. Although I took statistics and statistical analysis in college, I never could get past the idea that 1,200 people could speak for a population of 200,000,000. Makes you say Hmmmmmm!

So, if the polling public is doing the socially desirable thing of telling the pollsters what they think they want to hear then the race for the White House is still up for grabs. And any politician that runs his race based upon polls deserves to lose. We do not govern from polls nor should we. If we did things base upon polls then we would no longer be the Republic that this country was founded as and we become a country of Mob Rule. What do you think of polls and have you ever been polled? Let me know what you think.

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