… Or is it?

David Strömberg, writing over at Vox EU, observes:

Without the Bradley effect, Obama has an 84% chance of winning, receiving 52% of the two-party vote share. (Obama is expected to receive 52% even though he is polling at 53% of the two-party vote share, because of the catch-up effect.) However, the race is a coin flip if the presidential race will exhibit a Bradley effect of the same size as the average for the 22 House, Senate and Governor races 1998-2006 for which I have data. Obama’s win probability drops to 53%, with an expected vote share of 49.9

Bugger me, that’s depressing.  Transcend, dammit, transcend!

4 Responses to “… Or is it?”


  • Looks like turnout sunk this one, thankfully. Not that McCain was a bad candidate, but it would have been an poisonous way to have won.

  • I’d suggest that McCain was a bad candidate in both senses of the phrase: he represented a poor option and the nature of his campaign was churlish.

  • I don’t think ran his campaign well, but I think he probably was the best candidate the Republicans had. I think some voted his way in the primaries purely on the basis that they wish he’d won 8 years earlier …

  • I think he probably was the best candidate the Republicans had.

    That doesn’t make him “not bad,” just the “least bad.” 🙂

    That’s an interesting thought on the primary vote. I hadn’t considered it, but as a gut reaction it seems reasonable. McCain circa 2000 was certainly a much more attractive prospect to me than McCain in 2008.

    As an aside (well, more a return to the topic of the post), I wonder if the Bradley Effect may still have been in force. Andrew Gelman informs us that:

    Barack Obama won 96% of African Americans, 68% of Latinos, 64% of Asians, and 44% of whites. In 2004, Kerry won 89% of African Americans, 55% of Latinos, 56% of Asians, and 41% of whites. So Obama gained the most among ethnic minorities.

    41% to 44% is an improvement, but I wonder if it was mostly out of an increased turnout of liberal whites relative to conservative whites?

    Either way, the hope now is for America to get over the idea of him as the first black president and focus more on him as a president that happens to be black.

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