As election day drew closer in these past elections, and the polls consistently gave his O ness a slight lead over Mr. Morton, the phrase "Bradley Effect" was on every ones mind. No one (including yours truly) thought that the polls were correct, because we thought that a large percentage of white voters would lie to the pollsters. And now, in retrospect, we can see that the "Bradley Effect" may or may not have had an effect on what the polls were showing, but we know now that it had no effect on the final results.
But I submit to you that another phenomenon did. It's called "The White Grandmother Effect", and it just might possibly be the real reason why his O ness put an old time ass whopping on the former Navy pilot this past Tuesday.
I use a co-worker of mine as an example: This guy, a middle aged Italian, admitted to me that he and his 88 year old mother were ambivalent about these elections and about voting. That is until they heard the tragic story of the O man's grandmother and they saw her pictures on television. The guy confessed to me that his mother cried when she saw the story and decided right then and there to put one down for his O ness. "That poor woman would have wanted to see her grandson become president", he told me she said. I suspect that many people (black and white) connected to this story on many levels. Who among us does not have an older family member that we love dearly, but unfortunately did not live long enough to see us achieve certain milestones in our lives? This story stuck that kind of chord with many of us, and it was made even more tragic by the timing of the poor woman's death.
One of the most brilliant things the Obama campaign dis as election day drew closer, was to run ads featuring Obama with his grandmother. This made folks in the majority population who don't vote issues but identity connect with his O ness on a personal level. Obama by virtue of being Obama, son of a Kenyan father, already connected with black folks, we saw him as one of us. Those television ads featuring his mother's side of the family made him palatable to white folks as well. He became one of them, too.
Now this was the first and I am sure it will be the last time that the "White Grandma Effect" will be a factor in A-merry-can politics, so don't expect it to get as much play as the "Bradley Effect". Still, for this one historic election, it could have been the difference maker. Maybe someone can do a poll about that one day.....ahh never mind, people will just lie to the pollsters about that as well.