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Anyone who has been following the polls in Virginia for the last week probably has a headache…..Obama +2…….McCain +9……..Tie……..McCain +2…….Obama +5. How can one little state be getting all these different results. I have my thoughts, including that Virginia is becoming increasingly difficult to poll accurately due to a number of demographic changes. I’m hoping to do a feature post soon
The Gallup organization, one of the oldest and most respected polls, says it does account for cell-phone users. About 15 percent of households now use cell phones only.
Residents of those households tend to be younger, more minorities and more transient, the Gallup organization’s Web site says.
Those would be more likely to be Obama supporters.
Since Jan. 2, Gallup has been including cell phone-only households in all of its telephone surveys, the Web site says. The most recent national Gallup poll, taken Friday, shows Obama leading by 5 percentage points.
Coker said the Obama campaign should be more worried about the so-called “Wilder effect” or “Bradley effect.”
The phenomenon was named for Virginia’s L. Douglas Wilder and California’s Tom Bradley, black office holders who saw substantial poll leads disappear on Election Day. This resulted in a theory that some voters are embarrassed to tell pollsters that they will not support a black candidate.
In 1982, Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles, led in the polls but lost California’s election for governor.
Two days before Virginia’s 1989 election for governor, Wilder led his Republican opponent, J. Marshall Coleman, by 15 percentage points, according to one poll. Wilder won the election, but it was so close there was a recount.
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