The "Hidden Democratic Vote"
by Tom, Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 01:14:49 PM EDT
Here's an interesting quote from today's Kausfiles:
"But then why the difference in the polls? Maybe a new and different kind of PC error is at work--call it Red State Solidarity Error. Voters in Tennessee don't want to admit in front of their conservative, patriotic fellow citizens that they've lost confidence in Bush and the GOPs in the middle of a war on terror and that they're going to vote for the black Democrat. They're embarrassed to tell it to a human pollster. But talking to a robot--or voting by secret ballot--is a different story. A machine isn't going to call them "weak." ..."
More after the fold.
The polls coming from Tennessee can hardly be called "all over the map." Every poll I've seen has fallen within the margin of error, and every poll tells roughly the same story: the race is a dead heat, with 45 percent for Ford, 45 percent for Corker, and roughly 10 percent undecided.
The thing Kaus notices is that the robopolls -- polls in which a machine and not a person makes the call -- as well as internet polls typically have shown Ford with a lead, still within the margin of error. But Ford is consistently polling better in polls that are not taken by a human. Instapundit notes this discrepancy in the polls and takes it the wrong way, mistakenly saying that this is a difference that would be explained by the errors of political correctness: that voters who will never publicly admit that they won't vote for a black person under any circumstances are too scared to admit to a human that they feel that way, and overcompensate by telling other people that they'll vote for Ford (the black Democrat) and not do so in the privacy of the voting booth.
You know what? I think this whole idea has been completely overblown over the years. It's hogwash. Honestly, most people who would not vote for a black person under any circumstances (like, say, when his white opponent is a shady businessman who talks out both sides of his mouth and was found to have employed illegal aliens in his business, yet somehow says he'll "protect our borders" from illegal immigrants) are people who would vote Republican under any circumstances. The fact that these people exist shouldn't discourage Democrats from nominating candidates from minority groups. They're there, and they're voting for a Republican whether the Democratic candidate is black or white or Hispanic or whatever.
And the thing is, if this REALLY were the case, the human polls would show a bump for Ford and the automated polls would show a bump for Corker. Instead, it's the other way around.
Harold Ford Jr. will win this race. Other than the kids who are constantly bugging me about having a Corker sticker at tailgates, I can't think of anybody who is really enthusiastic about Bob Corker. Bob Corker is a man who got the GOP nomination by pretending to be a "moderate" while portraying his Republican primary opponents in a falsely negative light. It's funny how "electable" candidates always seem to turn out to be just the opposite.