Reverse Bradley Effect

Yes, We Can As I mentioned in my last post, I'm in Seattle, in the USA, where I haven't been much over the last eight years . I'm here to vote, to catch up with friends, and to decide if I want to move back. I don't like talking about politics and, as you can tell from my blog, I'm much more comfortable talking (and blogging) about nerdy stuff. I have some Republican friends, especially small-government, fiscally-responsible type Republicans, and I've been dreading talking to these people about this presidential election. But, a miraculous thing has happened: Most of them are voting for Obama! This is completely surprising to me and seems to be an example of the Reverse Bradley Effect. For a good discussion of this, see The Reverse-Bradley Effect by Kathleen Parker. Here is an excerpt:
But equally significant this time may become known as the Reverse-Bradley Effect: whites who would never admit to voting for a black man, but do. And, expanding the definition somewhat, Republicans and conservatives who would never admit to voting for a Democrat, especially one so liberal. Whether these dynamics are in balance won't be known for a while -- or perhaps ever. That's because the crux of the reverse syndrome is a code of omerta.

[. . .]

I've received too many e-mails and had too many conversations that began, "Just between you and me," and ended with, "I wouldn't want anyone at work to know," to believe that this is an insignificant trend.
I, too, was told that this was "just between you and me." I'm optimistic about the future, thankful for my wise friends, and inspired by the Yes We Can Song. Yes, YES, WE CAN.

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I am feeling uncharacteristically optimistic about politics, future of the world, and all that, too. I think it's a lot to do with the intelligence of our president-elect. I got a double whammy to my expectations, and that was good for me. I was missing that reverse-Bradley effect and was sure that the American public would not elect a Black man. I was almost as dubious about the election of a smart person. Maybe more.


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