September 24, 2016

Is there a Trump Effect in polling — a reverse Bradley Effect?


For those who aren't sure about what I'm getting at, first, I was inspired by this blog post by friend Brains.

Let's start with what the Bradley Effect is, as an explainer. From Wiki:
The Bradley effect (less commonly the Wilder effect) is a theory concerning observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some United States government elections where a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other. The theory proposes that some voters who intend to vote for the white candidate would nonetheless tell pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for the non-white candidate. It was named after Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African-American who lost the 1982 California governor's race despite being ahead in voter polls going into the elections.
So, that's that.

That said, what if there's a reverse effect with Trump?

"Good" Republicans ashamed to admit that they'd vote for Trump? Too ashamed to admit it even to anonymous polls?

Brains' post has Hillary Clinton with a 10-point polling lead over Trump in Harris County (Houston), Texas. Barack Obama won the county by 1 or 2 percentage points in 2012 over Mitt Romney and 2008 over John McCain. The idea that she's doing that much better than him, when she's sagging nationally, does not compute.

So, the light bulb came on, since I'm aware of the Bradley Effect, and aware of the social psychology of why it happens.

If I'm even partially barking up the right tree, then Hillary Clinton's in even more trouble than the mainstream media wants to admit.

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