Huffington Post: Normon Soloman: Projecting an Obama Victory

Huffington Post: Normon Soloman

Projecting an Obama Victory

Twenty years ago, presidential nominee Michael Dukakis emerged from the Democratic National Convention with a 17-point lead in a Gallup Poll. One of the main reasons that the lead disappeared was a scurrilous TV ad, linking Gov. Dukakis to a prisoner who committed a rape during a weekend furlough. The commercial included an ominous photo of the African-American convict, Willie Horton.

Now, a “Willie Ayers” ad is getting plenty of media attention, and Sarah Palin is accusing Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” The McCain campaign is eager to implement desperate measures for its desperate times — making preposterous claims to link Obama with terrorism — scraping toward the bottom of the barrel and heaving larger quantities of mud.

Any confidence that such tactics will have scant effect on the electorate is misplaced.

There’s also the matter of race — and, more to the point, racism. “Many older Democrats quietly admit they will not vote for Mr. Obama because they fear he would put too many blacks in power, or be hamstrung in office by racial opposition,” the New York Times reported from Florida on Oct. 4.

This fall, no one knows exactly how much we’ll see of the “Bradley effect” — named after the defeat of the black mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley, who received conspicuously fewer votes from whites than election-eve polling had predicted when he ran for governor in 1982.

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