The AP’s Ron Fournier: Racial Arsonist and Unethical Journalist

By Al Giordano


Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks - many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.

- Ron Fournier, Associated Press, September 20, 2008


Theorem: The amount of time conservatives spend talking about the Bradley Effect is inversely proportional to the fortunes of their candidate.

-       Nate Silver, September 19, 2008

Today's AP story wasn't exactly about the so-called "Bradley Effect" or "Wilder Effect," a popular theory in the 1980s and 1990s that posited that some white Americans lie to pollsters claiming they will support African-American candidates but vote then against them in the secrecy of the ballot box.

The theory - if it was true back then - has been very thoroughly disproved in recent years, and today we'll walk you through all the documentation you need to debunk it when asked about it by others.

But with the McCain-Palin ticket sinking in the polls, and the financial crisis sucking the oxygen out of the culture war "issues" on all sides, with the economy now front and center as the dominant campaign issue, we're hearing increasing mention of the so-called "Bradley Effect," the so-called "Wilder Effect," the so-called "Bradley-Wilder Effect" (all names for the same 20th century theory).

And now, the Associated Press and its unethical reporter Ron Fournier are transparently attempting to turn the November election (and, if their attempted arson is successful, its aftermath for years to come) into a wedge to divide, polarize and set back race relations in the United States of America more than four decades.

Everybody take a deep breath and repeat after me: The race card is not working. It's not going to work. And we're not going to take the bait being dangled out in front of us by racially prejudiced provocateurs like Fournier: he wants us to spread his gasoline to make his arson fire bigger; we're going to hose water on it - and on him - instead.

This weekend, we have two sets of homework assignments for Field Hands, the first outlined in this post.

Step One: To arm and educate yourselves with the true facts demonstrating that the AP poll disproves Fournier's racially incendiary claims.

Step Two: To similarly arm yourself to be able to demonstrate that the so-called "Bradley Effect" (in all its names) has not been a serious factor for 15 years or more.

You will develop the talking points to explain the true facts to your neighbors, family and friends whenever it comes up. The "white Americans won't vote for a black man" canard is bogus, and, frankly, even if it were to be a factor, there is an equal and opposite force at play that is the Obama grassroots organization.

If "concern" about such claims need an outlet they will be in this assignment and the one to come later on today (to get the AP Managing Editors Association to fire Ron Fournier for his conflicts of interest and violation of the APME's Statement of Ethical Principles, or "ethics code").

Fournier's article claims:

The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 - about two and one-half percentage points...

40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents...

More than a third of all white Democrats and independents - voters Obama can't win the White House without - agreed with at least one negative adjective about blacks...

Among white Democrats, one third cited a negative adjective and, of those, 58 percent said they planned to back Obama.

Let's think about that last sentence carefully. One third of white Democrats agreed with a negative adjective about African-Americans. But 58 percent of those supposed "racists" - a majority of them - are still voting for a particular African-American in specific. And that's supposed to be "bad news" for Obama's candidacy?

In fact, if we review the actual poll - rather than Fournier's spin - it provides very good news for those that want Obama to win.

In the real data from the AP poll, Obama's favorable-to-negative rating (54 percent favorable to 41 negative, or 13+) is better than McCain's (50 to 42, or 8+). And Obama towers over McCain among those that have a "very favorable" opinion of each candidate, with 30 percent to just 13 for McCain.

Obama leads this poll (which casts a net much wider than "likely voters" or even "registered voters"): Obama 40 percent to 35 for McCain. Bob Barr receives one percent support and Ralph Nader, 2 percent.

If you take away the undecideds, that's Obama 51.2 percent to McCain 44.8 percent with third party candidates getting the remaining four percent.

The poll also "pushes" the 18 percent of undecided voters and gets only teenaged numbers of them to declare. Factoring in those numbers, here are the poll's results, adjusted to included those pushed:

Obama: 42.9 percent

McCain: 38.2 percent

Barr: 1 percent

Nader: 2 percent.

Don't Know: 16.9 percent

Isn't that interesting? That even in the poll that Ron Fournier of AP spins to try and demonstrate that Americans are too racist to vote for Obama, the African-American is ahead by greater than the poll's claimed 2.1 percent margin of error!

See, kind readers: The poll itself - in its most important finding (the voter preferences for president) - doesn't back up Fournier's spin, and in fact refutes it.

Here's another question: How much time will each candidate spend "working on the issues you would want him to work on the most"?

The percent of those who said "moderate," "a lot" or "a great deal" is:

Obama: 66 percent

McCain: 59 percent

Strip it down to "a lot" or "a great deal" and it's:

Obama: 40

McCain: 27

In other words, far from the term Fournier bandies about - "lazy" - voters see Obama as the more hard-working problem-solver for the issues they most care about.

Here's another interesting question from the poll:

After the presidential election in November, which of the following would you prefer?

Barack Obama as president and Democrats controlling the Congress 45

Barack Obama as president and Republicans controlling the Congress 5

John McCain as president and Democrats controlling the Congress 13

John McCain as president and Republicans controlling the Congress 33

Refused / Not Answered 4

Got it? 50 percent would prefer Obama (nine out of ten of them also want a Democratic Congress), whereas just 40 percent want McCain, and more than a third of them still want a Democratic Congress.)

Let's extrapolate: 53 percent want a Democratic Congress to just 38 percent wanting a Republican Congress. That means that Obama is running about 3 points behind the Democratic Congress, and McCain is running about 2 points ahead of a Republican Congress. That's pretty close on both ends.

And by a significant margin, 45 percent of Americans want Democrats to control the White House and Congress, to just 33 percent that would like a GOP clean sweep.

Some more data from the poll:

More respondents want a politically "moderate" president (47 percent) than those that want him "conservative" (30) or "liberal" (21). Percentage of respondents that consider each candidate to be "moderate"? Obama 24 to McCain 22.

Based on every major preferential piece of data in this poll, Obama wins the November election.

AP's Fournier chose, instead, to airlift the poll's responses on racial questions (often in response to extremely inflammatory statements about African-Americans being "lazy," "violent," "boastful," "complaining" or "irresponsible" and with other "push poll" type questions) and made that the story, even though the overall results of the poll disprove his claim and show a general populace ready to elect Obama president.

Why did Fournier commit that act of journalistic atrocity?

Because - as we will examine in a subsequent post - the combination of his well-documented pro-McCain bias and the fact that his own data shows Obama heading toward victory in November, has him proving Nate Silver's theorem above: "The amount of time conservatives spend talking about the Bradley Effect is inversely proportional to the fortunes of their candidate."

While Fournier isn't talking about "the Bradley effect" per se, certainly claims that a black man can't win pushes the same set of buttons and carries the same basic claim.

So, the rest of this post's homework assignment is this: Educate yourself on the real data that shows that the "Bradley Effect" is unsubstantiated by fifteen years of exhaustive polling data compared to election results:

Mark Blumenthal debunked the "Bradley Effect" on June 19 (his essay is what I've sent those that have been asking me about it all summer long):

In recent years, however, that pattern has not held. As reported by Scott Keeter and Nilanthi Samaranayakeof the Pew Research Center last year, polls in five biracial contests in 2006 were largely accurate. The margins between the candidates predicted the vote, with no evidence of hidden support for the white candidates. "The accuracy of the polling in these five biracial elections," they wrote, "suggests that the problems that bedeviled polling in the 1980s and early 1990s may no longer be so serious."

Also, this year's primary results did not systematically understate support for Hillary Rodham Clinton. If anything, polls tended to underestimate support for the winner in each state, a trend that worked in Obama's favor as often as Clinton's.

Nate Silver, wrote about it on August 11:

polling numbers from the primaries suggested no presence of a Bradley Effect. On the contrary, it was Barack Obama -- not Hillary Clinton -- who somewhat outperformed his polls on Election Day...

The table below reflects 31 states in which at least three separate polls were released within 14 days of that state's primary or caucus. We compare the final trendline estimate from against the actual results from that state:


Yesterday, Silver added this counsel:

Sean Oxendine at The Next Right purports to find evidence of a Bradley Effect in the Democratic primaries, something which I also looked for and did not find. The difference between my study and his is that I include all the states, whereas he excludes those which do not fit his argument.

An academic paper published on August 4 by Daniel Hopkins at Harvard University documents the same point.

Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic explains what that Harvard paper says:

Hopkins looked at all senatorial and gubernatorial races that featured a woman or an African-American candidate from 1989 to 2006 -- a total of 133 races. For each, he found at least one poll released within a month of Election Day, enabling him to measure the gap between a candidate's polling and performance.

Hopkins finds some evidence that African-American candidates suffered from something resembling a Wilder effect before 1996, but since then, the effect seems to have disappeared.

This becomes the key finding of Hopkins's study: The Wilder effect is not a durable phenomenon. Rather, it is dependent on particular political conditions.

His theory is that when racially charged issues like welfare and crime dominated the political rhetoric, racial factors affected voting behavior and the Wilder effect asserted itself. But once welfare disappeared as a salient issue in 1996, political discourse was deracialized and race was less of a factor in voters' mind.

Here's the deal, Field Hands: Before worrying aloud about the "Bradley Effect," or other Fournier-type arguments that claim that America is too racist to elect Barack Obama president, study and rehearse talking about these points: Those I have just raised about what the AP poll really says (as opposed to Fournier's race-baiting spin), and read the five links debunking the Bradley Effect:

Mark Blumenthal (June 19)

Nate Silver (August 11)

Nate Silver (September 19)

Marc Ambinder (September 19)

Daniel Hopkins (August 4)

Copy and save that list of links. If commenters come here or on other blogs or websites you frequent that express "concern" or questions about the AP poll or the so-called "Bradley Effect," I am assigning each of you the job of testing your talking points on them - citing any of those five links above - rather than waiting for me to explain it over and over again. I may weigh in from time to time, comment or coach on which arguments I find most effective, but from here on out it will be your job to correct the record.

(And frankly, anonymous comments expressing "concern" about such matters - if they do not demonstrate that they've read at least one of those documents - are not likely to make the cut for being posted here. That said, I'll be more than happy to discuss in detail with those that demonstrate that you've read those documents and have informed questions or comments based on them.)

Ron Fournier is gambling that racism will win the day. It's the last card available to him and his ilk. By informing and arming yourself with the true facts, that's how you will prove him wrong.

In a subsequent post, coming up, I will outline the strategy, tactics and action plan through which we will persuade the Associated Press Managing Editors Association to remove Fournier from the presidential campaign beat. The path of action we will propose will be stylistically different than efforts made on other blogs that got buried under the news cycles of the two political conventions. Simply put, we will force AP - through its board of directors in the AP Managing Editors Association - to play by its own claimed rules and ethics code.

Meanwhile, study up and pump the water under which we will snuff out the malevolent torches of racial arsonists like Ron Fournier of the Associated Press.




saving the links...check

studying the data...check

getting ready to hammer the moron....can't wait!

Thanks Al. Great Post. First to Digg it.


Thank you Al

You have no idea how often I've gotten into this argument with my dad both during the primaries (he was a Clinton backer I was an Obama backer) and even now during the general election. Al, this is something I'm definitely going to print out and show my dad.

Thanks Al

For the cheat sheet, I look forward to your next post with your strategy to get Fournier removed.

A friend and I have been bitching at the AP for a while now. A little direction from you and the  help of Fieldhands, will make a world of difference. 

Off to study now.


Cogent thoughts as always Al.

This election is such a sea change election for America and is in a certain sense a trial by fire.

Of course Fournier is deliberatively trying to provoke and get attention and trying to light a match with the gas that he is happens to be bringing with him.

Sure there are some white people who may be less likely to vote Obama because of his race.  As we saw in WV, where 20+% of the people who voted said in exit polls that race was a factor and 90% of them voted for Clinton, the numbers that Al and Nate have shown clearly show that Obama is winning and that race will likely not be determinative at all (we hope)

As an aside, one thing about the Bradley affect that many media types get wrong - when Bradley ran the polls showed him in the high 40's in terms of support and well ahead of his opponent.  When he lost, it wasn't that his support dropped and that white people left him and voted differently than they stated prior, it was that his opponent's support jumped.  Bradley received very near what he polled before the election, but his opponent got all the "undecideds" and got a near double digit jump on election day.  Just wanted to point that put.  I believe that this was the same type of scenario that happened to Wilder, though he won.  Wilder never lost support, his opponent gained substantially more on election day than he polled prior.

How to stop Politico???


You smartly explained the tanning bed story's expansion.  Now explain to us how to get Politico (the johnny-come-lately of political "news")... to stop parroting anything and everything that comes out that feels controversial (building page hits), without even checking out the real story first.

Not to mention how Drudge will play this up!

It also occurs to me that the MSM is playing internet videos and ads-never-run as if they were news.   What gives with that form of free advertising of anything and everything???


Heard That the Bradley Phenomenon Was Generational

The most racist generations are passing away and being replaced by people who grew up in a more integrated environment. I was seven when they passed the Civil Rights Act. But I didn't go to an integrated school until I went to a special high school. As for my parents, just working alongside whites as peers instead of simply having them as bosses was new.

Younger folks have grown up used to seeing diversity in the professions, in school, everywhere. So there aren't the same levels of fear and suspicion there was when I was a kid, where there were neighborhoods you simply didn't go in or stay in after dark.


Thank you.  I saw the link

Thank you.  I saw the link to the  Fournier article  when I turned on my computer on comcast news.  This is more mischief.  Isn't it kind of like Rush telling his listeners to vote for Hilary.  The questions in this poll were off the wall. Didn't the sample size seem kind of small, too.  Remember, earlier in the campaign, when Fox News had an actor step in to its studio to supposedly be an undecided voter talking about one of the debates.  We will have to watch the media very carefully.  Whatever we can do to make AP behave, I'm in.  Not this time!!!!


First Rule: Take On Limited and Attainable Tasks

George - This is a post about AP and its unethical race-baiting reporter Ron Fournier. Trying to make it about any other media dilutes the effort and only makes it less possible to succeed at it.

And frankly, Fournier's role at AP reaches a much wider and deeper audience than the media outlets you mention. AP stories on the presidential campaign get picked up by most daily newspapers, large and small, local radio and TV news outlets, as well as the media you mention and almost all online media respond to it. AP is an agenda setting media that permeates all others.

We could make a very long list of other media that does awful things like you mention, but that won't accomplish jack squat to change the situation.

But pick a strategic example of the undesired activity, remove the problem, and hold his career's head up on a stick for all others to see: that will make them all think twice before using their keypads to deceive and distort.

Have already posted links on Time comment board

Hi all,

I've already posted links to this page and all Al's suggested links on Time's message board, where it got attention right away.

You can, too.  Get busy!

Wasn't Fournier

once being considered for a position on McCain's media relations team?

If that's true, then the problem goes beyond just Fournier. If the AP is comfortable assigning the presidential campaign beat to a man who nearly worked for one of the candidates, the pro-McCain bias may well be organizational.  

Sent this post and digg to all my groups

Now I am studying and bookmarking.  Let's do it, get rid of the unethical hatemonger permeating our nation's papers.

Times, they are a-changin'

In short, I agree - and there's plenty of evidence to show racial/sexual/ethnic attitudes changing in this country. And indeed, Obama represents reform of the old lines anyway....

My take is here:

The Race Race

Wow Al

Your post made me sorta teary.  I so love the notion of using data and studies to attack this race-baiting as one of my concerns was the chatter could have a chilling effect on potential Obama voters.

Yet my heart and my head are not quite on the same page on this issue.  So I must take the advice of my grandmother and parents and just continue to put one foot in front of the other and do my part to make the Obama presidency a reality.  I also have homework to do.  Thanks for those links.

Ok, so I didn't take statistics in college.  Not sure what the variance is measuring.  Somebody, pleae help me out.

Steven, haven't missed a post or comment since I first came around.  Was just too tired to comment as I've had to readjust to being a working gal again (rah rah).  I've been keeping up with all your anti-corporate rantings :) and can't wait to debate you after O-man is POTUS.


Of course, you have cross posted this, Al.

At DailyKos, OpenLeft and MyDD


You must


Al-I was going to post a comment on the last thread to ask you to do one of your fantastic posts on this ridiculous article that was released today. I knew ONLY you could demolish it's outlandish accusations and failing, floundering ideas-perfectly I might add. I am surprised to come back to check in and see that which I was hoping for- but not really because WE are on the same page. Thank you for this Al. Thank you for arming everyone with the knowledge they need to debunk these intended smears and ignorant talking points.... America is a melting pot and together as Americans-no matter what our race might be-WE will bring change to this country on November 4, 2008. There is NOTHING Ron-ignorant-Fournier can do about it!

Masked Voters

You'd be surpriesd the number of woman controlled by their spouses that have confided in me that they will be voting for Obama without letting on to their husbands!  I am sure there are scores of white male republicans scared to death of a M/P take over of the WH that will also be secretly voting for Obama also.   Look at the conservatives that have spoken out already!


Keep the Faith!


I surfed by Washington Week in Review last night where Jeane Cummings of Politico was talking about how Obama regained his lead in the polls and is clearly ahead.  A Reporter, whom I didn't recognize, contradicted her and said that some polls show McCain still in the lead, so the race is a dead heat... although he cited no actual polls to prove his point.

Cummings was undaunted, repeated how Obama was in the lead and that the economy as an issue has helped him... also helping him was his calm, measured approach to dealing with it.  The Reporter again contradicted her and said that the economy will favor McCain... especially since he's framing it as a crisis and that voters favor McCain as the candidate to best handle crises.

As I watched him, I asked myself, "Who is this putz?"  Then, the graphic flashed across the screen identifying him -- Charles Babington of the AP... a man who's every bit of a biased hack reporter as Ron Fournier.  He's the man who reported that Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic convention was basically a dud, which prompted Olbermann to suggest that Babington find another line of work.

Am finally realizing what AP stands for -- Associated Pricks.








Nate Silver has a new post

Nate Silver has a new post up on this at

One more for the links list. Fournier is slime and I've repeatedly emailed his superiors with articles showing what he's up to  and demands that they do something about it, like to to fire him with no answer back ever. The AP Board, huh? Well, worth a try, Al. I'm listening. 

Fournier and Singleton.

This Fournier critter has been cited as the point pest for the obsessions of Associated Press Chairman Singleton in such stalwart beacons as Firedoglake.

Newspapers are particularly vulnerable to web world changes and some have been lobbying to prevent any return of fairness doctrine rules and eliminate any laws that restrict newspaper ownership of other broadcast media, particularly television in the market areas where the newspaper is based.

AP has a regular pack of news mutts who disparage and undermine Obama for a living and Fournier is the most rabid.

When I check my Google news feeds, I use their handy designation tags to steer clear of any news item sourced to Fox, AP or ABC and keep a gimlet eye on the rest.



I think it's important that we know our stuff, because Al's upcoming action against the AP is not going to be easy. I've been hoping that our side could remove Fournier for a long time now, but all previous efforts have failed. The AP is at war with us over this guy, and we must win if we want fairness and accuracy to eventually return to the profession of journalism.


The AP recently put out an internal memo - talking points - defending this hack when DKos raised the issue of his propaganda a couple weeks ago. They've dug the trenches, built up reinforced concrete walls, and loaded the heavy guns for a massive barrage against us.


Somehow, we need to take them down. But it's clear that a frontal assault is not going to work. We have to get them to honor their code:


It means we avoid behavior or activities that create a conflict of interest and compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action...

The AP respects and encourages the rights of its employees to participate actively in civic, charitable, religious, public, social or residential organizations. However, AP employees must avoid behavior or activities - political, social or financial - that create a conflict of interest or compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action. Nothing in this policy is intended to abridge any rights provided by the National Labor Relations Act...

Editorial employees are expected to be scrupulous in avoiding any political activity, whether they cover politics regularly or not. They may not run for political office or accept political appointment; nor may they perform public relations work for politicians or their groups. Under no circumstances should they donate money to political organizations or political campaigns. They should use great discretion in joining or making contributions to other organizations that may take political stands.

reverse Bradley effect?

I am wondering if there will be a sort of reverse Bradley effect, in that there might be people who tell the pollster they are undecided because they feel they can't admit publicly to supporting Obama but in the privacy of the voting booth, they vote Obama. Such as in the scenario mentioned by Mary B. It has seemed to me for some time that this is more likely than the actual Bradley effect.

Vik N also makes an important point, that in the Bradley effect involves the white candidate gaining a lot of votes from people who claimed to pollsters they were undecided, while the African-American candidate gets the same amount of votes as the poll said (the Pew Research Center has the data). In other words, this would manifest itself as all the undecideds breaking for McCain when we would expect them to split more evenly.

Hi Cheryl :)

So cool to see your post.  And like you I'm very glad that Al posted this so that we can attack it factually and tactically with friends and others who may be misinformed.

My lay person understanding of the variance that Al has in the chart above from Nate Silver is pretty simplistic.  Who was supposed to win the primary in each state and if so, was there some Bradley type of effect result? Based on the variance shown,  that clearly wasn't the case because in almost all states Obama finished better than the average of 3 recent polls leading up to the primary election in states where he was supposed to win.  The only possible place where that Bradley effect might have occurred was in New Hampshire.  I guess there were exit polls done that said it had something to do with anti-choice ads run against Obama and the Hillary cry moment but I don't know if there was a definitive answer on that disparity between poll expectation and results.  Considering the majority electorate is generally older white folks in New Hampshire, my guess is that it would have been possibly a combination of that with the other two reasons.

Btw, I see that Nate has written a little more on it in the past few hours.

Al, I'm all ready for the assignment to get this guy fired.  Hopefully it includes a public media "hanging" first so he can't slither away in an unnoticed back page story.  I used to watch Imus in the Morning on MSNBC and he was pretty effective in his daily pushing for the firing of the top guys at VA after the Washington Post story about mistreatment of the war wounded at Walter Reed.  I like that type of incessant public calling out.


I just read the crosstabs on that poll

and it was positively inflamitory. I was shocked at the number of questions relating specifically to race ... and the ones about "what makes you more upset?"

* Corporate bailouts

* Million dollar salaries for professional athletes (which goes without saying what that's meant to bring to mind)

* oil company tax breaks

* black family moving next door.

I was appalled. And don't get me started on the Rev. Wright questions or religion ones, either.

It's a bit like showing someone the Towering Inferno then asking how they feel about fire safety in high rises.


Where are the polls asking about concern over a 72 year old, 4-time cancer sufferer who is currently in remission running for president?


On the plus side, I have to say that generally, I was actually reaffirmed in my belief that most people are not that racist.  Most respondents seemed fairly positive. 


As for the MSM trying to keep the race tight, I actually think that's a good thing.  The worst thing for the Obama campaign is if his voters get complacent about his lead in the polls. He needs people active and engaged up until November 4. The perception of a tight race helps him do that.


Al, one question for you. I think I agree with Nate about the more this race issue is discussed, the more it will hurt McCain because it does force people to look at a side of themselves they may be uncomfortable with. However, what does concern me today, is seeing comments on various MSM sights regarding this financial crisis. An awful lot of comments about this being the fault of Affirmative Action policies giving loans to minorities who couldn't afford them. I'm much more afraid of that angle being stirred up. And I can see Fox news and the RCP going there.

Babington too

Another slanted AP release, this time by Babington.

"For Democrat Barack Obama, the three presidential debates that begin Friday are a chance to halt John McCain's momentum, re-establish his image as a refreshing political force and make his case against a third straight Republican presidential term.

For McCain, they provide an opportunity to reinforce voters' doubts about Obama's experience and readiness, and to demonstrate that he's still on top of his game at age 72."

Brady and Wilder both miss their opposite affect...

Nate's article today raises an even more important point for those of us who think that the ground game and GOTV efforts are going to be the runaway factor this year...

  • 3. A related and unresolved question is how many persons will vote for Barack Obama because he is black.

Al has pointed out several times that pollsters in VA (I think it was VA) especially are unpolling the _actual_historical_ black vote, let alone what those of us with even a shred of intellectual honesty expect to be a radically increased black turnout this year.


Frankly, I'm personally adding 3 to 3.5% to O's total on any poll I've seen all summer to account for what I beleve is (not necessarily deliberate, just an unwillingness to accept reality) underpolling in several Obama-favoring demographics. (youth, minorities, cell-only users, 1st timers &etc)



Al, I see the Republican

Al, I see the Republican party as the party of white supremacy here in the US.

While I don't disagree with you about this AP guy's motives--I do think that habitual, racist patterns of thinking is the only explaination of why Obama is not up by over ten points right now.

However, these racialized dynamics are chaning--and Obama is furthering the positive change along.

If they can convince people that Obama can't win because of racism, then it becomes a self-fulfilling meme, and it must be rejected vociferously and often.  And I definately agree that the economy--not racism or Obama's not being white--is what we should be focusing on right now and through the election.

Lastly, on LGF, rightwing blog they are predicting and are giddy with the idea that McLame is going to bring Wright back into the propaganda fray.  I think that if they do it will be rejected and it will fail--it will make McLame seem desparate and underhanded.

Any of ya'll have thoughts about this.

Nice work AL--these are good talking points backed up by facts.

What I think is apt to happen is that some rightwing whites might vote for Obama--but they will not admit it to their family and friends. LOL

As Ezzy said--this nation is a melting pot, and our diversity is our strenght.  There is no place in this nation for an agenda that is predicated on fear of the non-white other, just like there is no place for terrorizers like the KKK.

There are a whole slew

Of muckrakers at the AP. If you call one out, and suceed in showing him the door, the others will fall in line.

Thanks, Al

I've been arguing against the Bradley Effect theorists for months now, not only citing the hard data but also the fact that the prevalence of automated pollsters destroys the pop-psychological underpinning of the conjecture (after all, no one would feel pressured to lie to a computer, especially when the poll involves pressing buttons instead of naming names).

However, I've found that the Bradley Effect is not only a favored by desperate conservatives, but it's also become a beloved device of those infamous Chicken Littles, who have taken to saying things like "If we're not up by five, then we're doomed!" in reference to this nonsense. Fortunately, all of this will be put to rest in little more than a month.

I am not a stats person

...and I don't know whether there will be a reverse Bradley effect.

But I do think the possibility should be mentioned to all of your Repub friends and on every Red blog, citing concern from the primaries. :-)

Call out the racists

Fournier's been peddleing his racist claptrap for a while now.  It's great that you called him out on it Al. It reminds me of Stephen Jay Gould eviscerating Herrnstein and Murray over the right wing agenda behind their much hyped pseudo-scientific and racist bestseller The Bell Curve.

Art that has to be in a gallery to be art isn't art.

AP-Yahoo Poll

In reviewing the results of the poll it is interesting to study the demographics of the sample.  For example, the regional diversity of the sample is worth consideration and may be instructive.  Here is the regional make-up:


Northeast 19
Midwest 22
South 36
West 23

The region which is represented most by this sample is the South and by a seemingly significant margin.  Why is this the case?  Is this simply due to random sampling and, therefore, not worth further explanation?  On the other hand, is it possible that this may be due to a faulty polling methodology and, therefore, have an undesirable influence on the results?  More cynically, does this information demonstrate an attempt by the pollster to target a specific demographic (which may provide the type of responses he/she is seeking) by deliberate oversampling?  It seems a review of why the South region accounts for 13% more than any other region in the sample may be necessary.  Do you have any thoughts about this Al?

very nice job

I have had some Republican campaign operative flapping his jaws about the Wilder effect and the Bradley effect and then combining the two and every time the polls dip for McCain, like clockwork, he crows about how a "4 to 6% Bradley Effect" will wipe out Obama.  I knew it was a crock of shit, now I have the facts and figures to PROVE it is a crock of shit, and I am very grateful!

Right Wing not giddy about this

Here's a little something that the wingnuts (and those beyond like Ron F.) lose sleep over at night hoping that these sentiments don't catch on with the rest of their "base":

This author is a guy who could be stereotyped as voting against Obama due to his race (amongst other stereotypes because he's from the South and worked for William F. Buckley.)  This is the type of thing that gives me hope against the racism. 

(btw, that picture of Ron F. above creeps me out - he looks an awful lot like Billy Bob Thornton's character in "Sling Blade"). 

Rove himself said ...

that if the campaign descends into race-baiting, then McCain will lose.  With the convention bounces over and the winds behind Obama's back, Republicans are becoming desperate.

Thanks, Al

Dang, man, you are on this.  I appreciate the stats and the explanation.


I'm all aboard

with getting Fournier fired. That such a filthy hack somehow climbed to the top of a once respected news organization is baffling.

I don't think this "race story" will have legs, though. I think one of the big stories of this election season is little a deal Obama's race turned out to be. As much as Fournier would like to change it, Obama's not seen by most people (or most media, for that matter) as the black candidate, but just as a candidate who happens to be black. Of course, there'll always be subtle racists who are "just not comfortable" with Obama because he's not "American" enough, but as the polls show, they're not numerous enough to tip the election to McCain.




Your EXPOSE' is AMAZING!!  DATA/STATS  - can't refute this!!


Again, THANK YOU!!!


Has anyone else noticed that the general election campaign as of this week is finally about the issues?

Say bye to Britney, Paris and pigs with lipstick and say hello to discussions about jump-starting the economy, providing health care for all and changing the course of our foreign policy.

Advantage: Obama.

Wait a minute....

Let me get this straight...the Bradley Effect is supposedly where people lie to pollsters in order to seem less racist. Obviously, if they're going to lie about who they're going to vote for, they're also going to lie about what they think of African-Americans in general. So as far as I can tell this poll is completely worthless for making any conclusions about the Bradley Effect - anyone who expressed a racist opinion in the poll is ipso facto not a Bradley Effect voter.

If your whole premise is that people are lying to pollsters, you need something more than just a poll to make your point (like, say, actual election results).


I read the AP story over lunch.  I went back out to continue my yardwork, mentally fuming that an obviously racist story was permitted to be published as some sort of reasoned analysis.  While I was fuming, I was planning a request for Kos readers to find the actual data and offer some insight into what the hell was really going on.  Then I finished my yardwork, came in, and refreshed the Field on my way to Kos. Voila..request answered without ever asking.  I ask, how can you not love Al?

Looking forward to part 2.

Hallefrickinllujah, Al

Can't wait for your next post. Fournier is a racist, biased hack who needs to GO! Thanks for taking the time to debunk his craptastic article.

the concern troll poll

Glad to see Stanford University conducting a "poll" on racism with racism thereby reinforcing racism. 

And, every attempt to fight its claims has to repeat its claims. I really hate this shit.

How about asking the African-American community, the most loyal democratic voters, how they feel about old white men? I also can't stand this crap about the "worry" of white people (which I've heard while canvassing) that a black man will only care for his "own" people, especially because white people have such a wonderful record of being objective and fair to people of all colors. I mean, really.

I love doing research and my typing fingers are primed and ready. 



This is how we win...redeux

(I post on a thread, and then I look at the post times and notice that everyone's moved to a new thread!  This is more apropo for this thread, anyway...)

This is how we win....

Ads, counter-ads, hand-wringing, arm-chair quarterbacking...nope!

On our way back from the rally, we stopped at the gas station to get some water.  There was one lone lady in Obama gear with a clipboard asking everyone if they were registered.  She says she does this from 2 - 4 every Saturday while her kids are at their piano lessons a few blocks away!

As I was leaving the inside of the gas station, she was registering the young man who had left just before me!  The lady said she reisters 5 - 8 people every Saturday that she is there; the rest she reminds of the election day and asks about their family members if they stay to talk to her.

It was a joy to see!


waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


Dugg It!

Thanks, again Al!

BTW: there were only 32 Diggs!  Go back up to the post and Digg, Fieldhands!

Al. you know my keyboarding fingers are ready for whatever you need as I work during the day: 50 minutes for my clients, 10 minutes on The Field; 50 minutes for my clients, 10 minutes on The Field...


waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


What a lying weasel

Thanks for the stats and talking points to combate this puke.  I am looking forward to directions from the master on how to cause his career demise.  He should be held accountable for his actions.

The REAL reverse Bradley effect...

With a nod to siddhartha.... the first paragraph of Fournier's crud, restated:

Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost John McCain the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third [or name your percentage] of black Democrats harbor negative views toward whites — many calling them "lazy," "violent," and responsible for their own troubles.


Thanks Al -- I'll be following the links and waiting for Part Deux!

It occured to me while I was walking to the store

That racist Democrats and others were more of a McCain problem than an Obama problem. People who want Obama as President are motivated to vote for him, and know they need to vote for him. They feel strongly about not having a President McCain. On the other hand, those who do not want to vote for Obama can simply sit it out or leave the top of their ballots blank, and let those who do want to vote for Obama win. There just isn't the same intensity and urgency that Obama voters have to make McCain President.  The racist Democrats know that Obama probably won't be any worse than anyone else in office, and being a Democrat, Obama will support at least some of the things they also support.

For McCain, that's not enough. Those who do not want to vote for Obama are not necessarily people who like him either. Add the lackluster support he is getting from fellow Republicans who are not wingnuts, and he's in deep trouble.

The wingnuts may want to bring back Wright, but thanks to a 6 week orgy of Wright all the time, everything is already out that's coming out, and few people want to go there anymore. Just about every  heard of Reverend Wright anyway, so the response is likely to be a big fat yawn like a rerun after it's been seen for the 401th time.

Hard-core racists... "affirmative action" for loans? a N/A A/A, I have found that trying to argue with people of that mindset is futile.

The truth is:  affirmative action has nothing to do with loans, although for decades, it was found that credit-worthy minorities were turned down much more often than whites with the same credit score and income, etc.  Also, not all minorities (or even most) have bad credit...that, too, is racist.

Reminds me of what I was taught (to my face) in some early sales training classes several years ago: white people were "prospects" while black and brown people were "suspects"...

There are some people that revel in their own racist world...can't do much about them...however, once the O-man is their President and respresents them to America and the world, some of them might even move a couple of inches in the right direction...

but we can do what Al has instructed us...and keep our eyes on the prize!


waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


@ Tom W.

Clearly, we have work to do and I do not want to turn this thread into a discussion on 'race.' But, since Tom W. posted a link to his piece and people may be linking to it as we smoke out the race-baiters, 2 important points need to be made so as to not reinforce stereotypes about the African-American community.


1. Obama does not represent change because he is biracial. That is not new. For evidence I simply turn your gaze to the American plantation and the use of black women's wombs to build this country. While you are right to refer to early discourse in the black community about Obama being "black enough" these were not about his being bi-racial (ask Thomas Jefferson). Many of these debates harkened back to DuBois and the "talented tenth," found voice in Michelle Obama's perceptive and earnest senior thesis at Princeton, and referred also to the general fear of what happens to leaders, all leaders, once they go to Washington. But, more significantly, it had to do with the fact that Obama's father was born in Kenya. This leads to my second point.

2. The issue about Obama's father being Kenyan was not a sign of an African-American community perpetually in the midst of an "identity" crisis, as stereotypes about multiculturalism would have us believe. Instead, African-American experience represents American experience and in this case it was good old-fashioned xenophobia and American entitlement. African-Americans as Americans could claim Africa but could an African (sexism applies here too, right, because heritage is assumed to come from the father) claim America? It is that xenophobia that Hillary Clinton used in her campaign, intersected with racism and sexism, and it was Stephanie Tubbs Jones, an African-American woman, who reinforced it as she referred to Obama in Somali dress as being in his "native dress".

In that respect, what was happening in the African-American community was not a "black" issue but consummately American. It's important to remember that as "polls" such as these reinforce once again the notion of blackness as a perennial "problem." 

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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