Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 23, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

EAST COAST BIAS WATCH....The Wilder Effect? I thought it was the Bradley Effect. LA's guy was first, after all.

POSTSCRIPT: Google backs me up: 3,820 hits for Wilder Effect compared to 44,900 hits for Bradley Effect. Take that, Virginia.

POSTSCRIPT 2: Still, good to know it doesn't exist anymore, regardless of what it's called.

Kevin Drum 6:07 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (20)

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Comments

congrats kevin. all of california must be proud!

Posted by: on July 23, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Friggin' easterners, especially New Yorkers. Anything that happens west of Philadelphia really doesn't count...

Posted by: gab on July 23, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Philadelphia? What's that?

Posted by: on July 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps it doesn't exist anymore at the local and statewide level because there have been enough black candidates that people are just as comfortable talking about supporting them or not that the effect has run its course. Or on the other hand, maybe there haven't been enough black candidates in places where it would really show up for us to know if it's really gone.

In any case, who knows if it will or will not show up in a Presidential race? Unfortunately, no one does.

Posted by: along on July 23, 2008 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

"East Coast Bias Watch"

If I tell you I'm voting for a west coaster, I'm probably lying.

Posted by: B on July 23, 2008 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

I'm very disappointed. I was hoping that would be a link to the Billy Wilder Effect.

Posted by: nemo on July 23, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

I call it the Bradley-Wilder effect (that's chronological not alphabetical order also I care more about the Bradley case because 1) Wilder won and 2) he turned out to be a dweeb).

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on July 23, 2008 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

I smell a lib double standard. Libs seem just as excited as blacks to have a black candidate, but if whites get real excited about still having a white to vote for, then they are racist. Why is it desirable for blacks to get "energized as never before" over skin color (as I heard a lib TV talk host glowingly put it yesterday, while whites are supposed to feel guilt at voting white skin?

Posted by: Luther on July 23, 2008 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Quick note for the record: the data get sparse when you go back earlier than the late 1980s. Wilder is in the data set described in the paper, Bradley is not. That's why the paper's title mentions Wilder and Whitman, not Bradley and Boxer...

Posted by: Dan Hopkins on July 23, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

One caution, Kevin: Obama has only won the nomination. Tom Bradley won the Democratic primary in 1982 with 61% of the vote.

November is different psychologically. It's the final say. How many people are gonna hold the ballots in their hands, look at Obama's name, think, "Oh my God, if we do this, there's no going back," and then vote McCain?

Posted by: Another Chris on July 23, 2008 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Oh my God, if we do this, there's no going back"

Jesus Christ Chris. 1) elections have nothing to do with having sex with the President, 2) generalizing about the sexual prowess of African Americans is quite racist, 3) generalizing about the asexual nature of 70 year old men is quite ageist, and 4) I really don't see why electing Obama means we can't elect a white person at some point in the future.

Posted by: asdf on July 24, 2008 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't it be the Gantt effect? For Harvey Gantt who lost twice to Jesse Helms, with the polls showing a 4%-5% "lying to pollsters" shift.

Posted by: on July 24, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't it be the Gantt effect? For Harvey Gantt who lost twice to Jesse Helms, with the polls showing a 4%-5% "lying to pollsters" shift.

Posted by: Coyoteville on July 24, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry 'bout thae double post. Forgot to ID myself.

Posted by: Coyoteville on July 24, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

East coast/west coast thing. I'm from Virginia originally, so I call it the Wilder effect.

Posted by: tavella on July 24, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Here in Virginia, we are just not going to give up our Wilder Effect. Especially to the former mayor of LA, please.

Posted by: Brian on July 24, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm going to second comments by along and Another Chris (whose intent was clearly misunderstood by asdf): to say that the Wilder effect doesn't exist anymore is to encourage dangerous complacency. It hasn't been tested at the national level. I'm guessing (it can only be a guess) that we need to subtract at least 5% from Obama's poll numbers to know how the race really stands. And that means that it's really tight.

Posted by: TonyG on July 24, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

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