The Bradley Effect

During the 1990s, UK TV series Spitting Image included a song “Thank You Tory Voters”, listing disasters caused by the Conservative government. One memorable line was “Voting Tory’s like a fart, no-one admits they’ve done it”. This was the point at which opinion pollsters noticed something interesting: Conservatives would routinely lose in every opinion poll, and then win the election. Studies were carried out, and it turned out that a surprisingly large number of people were so embarrassed by their support for the Tories that they would routinely tell opinion pollsters one thing, and then vote differently in the privacy of the voting booth.

The science of FOX News

A study of the brains of political partisans shed some scientific light on the obvious, and will be worth remembering in this upcoming year: The Democrats and Republicans were given a reasoning task in which they had to evaluate threatening information about their own candidate. During the task, the subjects underwent fMRI to see what parts of their brain were active. What the researchers found was striking. “We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning,” says Drew Westen, director of clinical psychology at Emory who led the study.

What Century is this?

Washington Post : Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: “It wasn’t pretty.” She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn’t possibly vote for Obama and concluded: “Hang that darky from a tree!

Short, depressing prediction

My prediction: Lieberman will run in 2004. The Democrats will decide to continue with their strategy of “We’re exactly like the Republicans, except we care”, assuming that the only reason it didn’t work last time was that they didn’t try it hard enough. They will pick Lieberman to run for President. Bush will win a second term. Either that or Lieberman will win, which will be just as bad for civil liberties.

Prepare to bang head on wall

Daschle thinks the Democrats lost the elections because they weren’t similar enough to the Republicans, and that they’d do better if they were the party of Iraq wars and tax cuts.

In case you missed it

Item 1: The Republicans in Florida paid Database Technologies (DBT) to produce a list of felons who could be prevented from voting in the Presidential election. Only one county checked the accuracy of the list it was given; they found it was 95% wrong. It turns out that DBT did not verify the information by phone, even though they were paid to do so. DBT say that Clayton Roberts, Republican head of elections, “…wanted there to be more names than were actually verified as being a convicted felon.