What Bradley effect?

Nelson Rising, who ran Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's campaign for governor in 1982, sounds pretty certain that Barack Obama won't suffer any "Bradley effect" backlash from white voters misleading the polls. The reason he's so confident? It didn't even happen to Bradley, Rising told KPCC's Frank Stoltze on this weekend's Off-Ramp. The conventional wisdom has been that Bradley had a big lead in the polls that vanished when voters actually cast their ballots. But Rising says that the campaign's own polling saw Bradley's lead ebbing as the election neared, not unexpectedly — Rising's strategy had been to hit TV early and amass a big lead, then essentially try to hold on. He blamed the handgun control measure on the ballot that year for plumping up turnout in what he calls "Eastern California," and those voters went for George Deukmejian. It also didn't help that Bradley was unpopular in Alameda County, the biggest center of black voters in California, over Los Angeles luring away the Oakland Raiders. Deukmejian won by 93,000 votes out of 7.8 million cast.

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