At 7/9/12 10:09 AM, TheMason wrote:
Camaro brings up a good point though that Romney's Mormonism may cause people on the radical right to stay home thereby either negating or masking the Bradley Effect if it is indeed in play.
Though my father (or I think it was him) noticed how the Baptists have kinda forgetten about Romney's Mormonism, when they otherwise would be leading the charge against it.
Now 2012 is a different election. I think elements of Obama's administration (ie: Eric Holder), his proxies (ie: House Dems, media pundits) and even on occasion himself have polarized the country along racial lines.
That was inevitable. Have an administration whose identity is that of a minority and a society still mired in racism (on both sides) and you're going to have some conflicts. It was only a matter of time where the white perspective and the black perspective conflicted, and unlike a white President who could easily get away with going for thw white perspective without much pause from anyone (who matters) Obama, being black, couldn't. If he picks a black perspective many whites will say he's being racist. If he picks a white perspective, many blacks will say he's being racist. The white group is so immense that it has to be catered to a bit, but Obama relies so much on the black vote that he has to pay attention to them as well.
I don't think Obama has moved us forward in this regard but instead (sadly) regressed us.
While I won't say Obama moved us forward, I starkly disagree that he's moved backward. If anything, Obama has broiught racism, its attendant tensions, and its conflicts to the forefront in an office that never had it. Racism and racial tension is still very prevalent in the United States, but the Obama Administration can't ignore it or treat it as something else like prior administrations could.
Think of it like moving from Portland Oregon to Charlotte North Carolina. In Portlnad there aren't that many minorities so you don't see racism very often. many people see such little racial interaction they mistakenly believe that Portland doesn't have racism. Go to Charlotte and you see racial interaction on a very routine basis. This inevitably leads to more visible racist events, and a belief that Charlote is just inherently more racist. Not true. Portland has very deep seeds of racism. I grew up in it and can spot it almost daily. Charlotte may have some vocal racists, but the average resident has more interaction and a better perspective of minorities than any Portlander does.
In short, don't let the recent visibility of race fool you into thinking racial issues weren't present before.
Thus I think it is entirely possible that Obama may have brought Bradley back into play after (ironically) killing it in '08. I mean if I can't have a conversation with an Obama supporter expressing my reasons for not voting for him that doesn't devolve into: "you don't like him because he's black!" There is something wrong and I think that will cause people to just quietly support the challenger.
I think the Bradley effect was muted a bit last election because there wasn't anywhere to really hide it. McCain was hardly the McCain that garnered a ton of respect. Because of that, the only noticeable quality McCain had that was superios was experience, and in the wake of the fake economy of the 2000s beginning to crash, more of the same wasn't strong to hold all who wanted to legitimize their tension.
Now, two things are different. First, Obama has a record through which people can place legitimacy in their dislike of him. Second, the tea party and the conservative uprising that occurred in 2009 gave rise to numerous surrogate racist beliefs that can hade a purely racially motivated vote, even if the beliefs are just as assinine.
With Obama's record, those who felt racial tension before and had a difficult time finding a place to hide it, or just didn't like the dud candidate the GOP put forward, now have something to latch on to. They can legitimately say their dislike of Obama comes from his economic policies, or healthcare, or foreign policy and so on.
Also, the rise of the birther movement, the emphasizing of his middle name, and the Obama is a Muslim claims pioneered by the Tea Party and popularized by pundits, the racists have a place to go with their racism that doesn't even require justification (in their minds).