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January 09, 2008

Oops, We Did It Again!

Left with egg on their faces in the wake of Hillary Clinton's win in the NH primary, the press are struggling to explain how polling (always an inexact science at best) could have [gasp] yielded less than reliable results:

We're going to hear many analyses in the coming days. I'm already seeing lots of references to the Bradley Effect. Polipundit posited that a Reverse Bradley Effect might have been at work in Iowa because the Democrats had an open caucus and the use of secret ballots in New Hampshire brought back the old fashioned Bradley Effect. Mickey Kaus likes that theory and adds a few more, including what he calls the Lazio effect.

Lazio Effect. No ganging up on the girl! First, Edwards turns on her in the debate. Then Obama says she's merely "likeable enough." Then the press disparages her anger, mocks her campaign and gloats over its troubles. They made her cry! And then that mean macho John Edwards goes and says the crying makes her unfit to be president.

Bradley, Lazio, Reverse Bradley... (is that anything like reverse cowgirl?)... how about something as simple as the Fat Lady Effect (it ain't over until the fat lady sings?).

Or the Captain Obvious Effect: never bet on a close horse race.

Or the Smith-Barney Effect: Hillary won the old fashioned way - by getting out more registered voters.

We invite your contributions in the comments section.

Posted by Cassandra at January 9, 2008 07:29 AM

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Is a Reverse Bradley Effect the same as 'recrudescence?' Or is it a French Bradley
going in reverse? My mind is a terrible thing
to waste.

Posted by: Betazoid Klingon at January 9, 2008 09:02 AM

Great Spirit say: "White Man behind anchor desk never learn. How many times will voice of experience sneak up from behind, bite him on ass?"

Posted by: Dances with Polls at January 9, 2008 10:04 AM

"Reverse cowgirl?" Now you have piqued my interest, ma'am.

It is a shame that all the pundits make so much hay out of so little. My Old Man always told me that the journey of a thousand miles always begins with the first step...and everyone who makes that first step doesn't always finish the journey.

These electoral races bear striking similarity to horse races and horse trading we used to do at home. You never know what is being sold to you or being dressed up in fancy duds until you see the horse actually in the race or doing its job.

But the "reverse cowgirl" line did make me stop and daydream a little. Bad Subsunk.


Posted by: Subsunk at January 9, 2008 10:06 AM

Great Spirit also say:

"Politicians change positions more times than John Holmes on good night." So how come they not more fun to watch?

All of which lead DWP to comment: Fred Thompson extremely good at arousing base. So is Jenna Jameson, but Dances with Polls not vote for her for President either.

Posted by: Dances with Polls at January 9, 2008 10:16 AM

Fred Thompson extremely good at arousing base. So is Jenna Jameson, but Dances with Polls not vote for her for President either.

Oh, that's just so wrong. Hilarious, but wrong.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 9, 2008 10:37 AM

DWP know that.
She said it just to make you laugh :p

Posted by: Sorry, I just lost my temper at January 9, 2008 10:39 AM

I find it appalling that she showed that obviously planned show of emotion. The Clintons will do anything to win, don't be fooled by her facade.

Posted by: Eric at January 9, 2008 01:09 PM

Me, I follow Mike Royko's advice; I lie to pollers.

Posted by: RonF at January 9, 2008 02:44 PM

The Richard Simmons Effect: Just let those tears out honey, I just swear you'll feel 10 points better afterward.

The Dr. Phil Effect: So, how's that poll workin' for ya?

The Keith Olbermann Effect: The only possible explanation for the difference in the polls and the primary results is that damn Bush is manipulating the results! (Which, the polls or the votes - Ed) Stop trying to silence me with your questions you neo-con fascist!!!!!!111!!!1

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 9, 2008 09:07 PM

The Optimist Effect: The polls were half good.

The Pessimist Effect: The polls were half bad.

The Statistician Effect: The pollsters were twice as bad as they should be.

The Blue State Effect: We could write-off Iowa as a bunch of redneck, high school drop-out Jesus-freak idiots, but really New Hampshire, WTF?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 9, 2008 09:14 PM

Reality-Based Community Effect: we are all entitled to our own opinions and some of us are entitled to our own facts, too.

The Tolerance Effect: Support for progressive candidates is based on reason, facts, and openness to diversity, but support for conservative candidates can invariably be attributed to fear mongering, ignorance, racism, or voter fraud.

Posted by: StatisticsRUs at January 9, 2008 10:15 PM

My head hurts.

Posted by: Cricket at January 10, 2008 08:28 AM

I wrote a little primer on the Lazio Effect several weeks ago not knowing that it would rear its ugly head again. I don't know if Maureen Dowd invented the phrase, but she sure is a believer in its power.

Posted by: Mo MoDo at January 10, 2008 09:24 AM

If you need some Safe For Work depictions of what Reverse Cowgirl looks like, I have one here. I can't help you with Reverse Bradley. My eyes bleed just imagining it.

Posted by: yellojkt at January 10, 2008 09:27 AM

To be honest I do not watch p0rn because... well, just because I don't. But I thought everyone knew what reverse cowgrrrl was :p Or I would have said something.

If you don't want to click on the link (it is safe) it is just the lady on top, but facing the other way. Never say VC is not educational...

I probably should not have made the joke but it was what popped into my head. Blame 10 months of deployment.


Posted by: Cassandra at January 10, 2008 09:39 AM

The Not Getting Any Effect: Ya know, he *is* kinda cute. No!... No! Bad girl! ...Must resist!... Think about a cold shower...baseball...HILLARY CLINTON!!! Yes, that did it, Hillary Clinton!

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 10, 2008 10:58 AM

Sooooo...........does this mean the trapeze will be getting fixed soon?

*ducking to dodge incoming marmoset*

Posted by: Little Snark Run-Amuk at January 10, 2008 11:17 AM

You'd better run :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 10, 2008 11:26 AM


*skipping away through the trees and breeze*


Posted by: Little Snark Run-Amuk at January 10, 2008 01:23 PM