"The Bradley effect, less commonly called the Wilder effect, is a proposed explanation for observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some American political campaigns when a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other. Named for Tom Bradley, an African-American who lost the 1982 California governor's race despite being ahead in some voter polls, the Bradley effect refers to an alleged tendency on the part of some voters to tell pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for a black candidate, and yet, on election day, vote for his/her white opponent." (Wikipedia)The "Bradley Effect" was a shocking dose of reality about the inconsistency of polls to determine how truthful people are about their voting decisions. It also went on to show the racial implications of the governor's race.
While it is now 26 years later, the notion of a "Bradley Effect" has resurfaced because Barack Obama, a bi-racial candidate is running for president of the United States of America. It is interesting to ponder whether people are indicating they will vote for the democratic ticket while in private will vote against it because of the racial implications.
I also wonder whether this can be applied to certain LGBT issues up on the ballot this Nov. 4th. There are marriage amendments in California, Arizona, and Florida this year. There is also the question of a constitutional convention in Connecticut and a ban on adoption by unmarried co-habitating couples in Arkansas. All of these referendums hold major implications for Americans straight and gay.
People opposed to gay rights often argue that they "have gay friends" or are "not bigoted against gays." It has become increasingly unpopular to be associated with "homophobia." Is it possible there is a segment of the population that claims they will vote against these marriage amendments and in favor of LGBT rights while secretly espousing another point of view to hide their own fear of being labeled a bigot?