Racism smears may underestimate Romney's polling figures dramatically
In the British elections in 1992, the pollsters were certain Conservatives would lose. But mainstream media bias made people afraid to say who they'd really vote for, and race wasn't even an issue...
For opinion pollsters it was one of the great debacles in modern UK political history. In 1992 the "deeply unpopular" government of Prime Minister John Major was set for electoral disaster.** Except, Major won and the pollsters were dead wrong. Why? Because respondents felt obliged to tell pollsters what they thought they wanted to hear.
The mainstream media was so massively anti-Conservative that the reality was concealed under a pile of politically correct guff. Much the same could be happening in the United States for Mitt Romney now.
But there's another issue that no-one in the US is talking about, and it may be crucial. In the context of America's first African-American president, Democrat supporters have, disgracefully, flung the accusation of racism against Republicans with such vigour that it is highly likely some respondents are refusing to tell pollsters they're backing Romney for fear of being considered racist themselves.
Remember, the people who are spoken to by opinion poll agencies are not hardened politicos. They don't have thick skins. They're ordinary voters. This could well be knocking back Romney's polling figures, underestimating them by a good 2-3 percentage points.
We'll see by the end of play tomorrow. But it's worth a thought, eh? Remember John Major, the loser... er, not...
** In fact, most polls predicted a hung parliament, meaning that no party would get overall control. This would have represented a defeat for the Conservatives who had been in power since Margaret Thatcher took over in 1979
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