WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Racial biases against black political candidates frequently don't show up in pre-election polling because of the "Bradley effect," some analysts say.
With Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois leading in many polls, some academics are wary of the "Bradley effect," The Washington Post reported Sunday.
It is named after an incident in which polls showed Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley with a lead heading into the 1982 California gubernatorial election against a white opponent. But Bradley lost in a stunning upset and some observers blamed it on latent racism not revealed to pollsters.
"I'm one of those who believe the Bradley effect is alive and well," Michael Dawson of the University of Chicago, told the newspaper, saying while it may have diminished, it has not disappeared.
Others, however, say polls miss racism not because of people lying, but because white voters harboring racial animosity frequently don't talk to pollsters.
"Poorer, less-educated whites don't like to do these polls as much as better-educated people do," said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. "The refusals come from the same class of people who tend to be the most racially intolerant."