If the Obama administration asked, former Governor Doug Wilder would tell campaign advisers to beware of the “Reverse Bradley Effect.” The always perceptive Wilder is providing some insight from his own gubernatorial campaign and suggesting that there may be some similarities between the two electoral contests.
In 1982, Los Angeles African-American Mayor Tom Bradley lost his gubernatorial bid after polls predicted a huge win. Lying to pollsters has since been called the “Bradley effect.” Years later, the first elected African-American Governor, Doug Wilder, narrowly won after similar polls. But Wilder says he learned from Bradley’s failed bid.
“The only poll that’s important is the one taken on Election Day when you cast your vote at the polls,” says Wilder, who warns of a a reverse “Bradley” or “Wilder” effect if President Obama assumes that all African-Americans who voted for him in droves before, will do so again:
“What I’m saying is that there are any number of African Americans who are going to vote for the President, they say they’re going to vote for him, but are they going to vote for him? Now, they’re not going to vote against him, but is that motivation going to be there? Is is going to be, ‘Hey look, I’ve got to get there because if I don’t, somebody else might get there,’ and I hope that is not the case,” said Wilder.
He says instead of campaigning against the GOP, Mr. Obama should push policies that show exactly how he will get the economy moving again and restore faith in those whose support has waned.