Wednesday, May 08, 2013


Mark Sanford beat Elizabeth Colbert Busch yesterday in a special House election in South Carolina, and it wasn't even close: Sanford beat Colbert Busch 54%-45%, despite a survey from Public Policy Polling showing Sanford with just a 1-point lead.

PPP seems to have been the only pollster seriously following this race, and previous PPP polls showed Colbert Busch with a lead. But I think PPP's failure to call this race is understandable. My guess is that poll respondents -- even respondents to PPP's robo-poll, who never spoke to an actual human being -- were reluctant to admit that they were going to vote for a philanderer. I think it's a reverse Bradley effect -- Republican-leaning voters in this district lied to PPP's poll robot just the way white voters lied (or used to lie) to pollsters about their intent to vote for black candidates, as in the 1982 California governor's race, in which pollsters overestimated the strength of African-American candidate Tom Bradley.

Pollsters have learned how to add questions to surveys that will tease out discrepancies between a respondent's stated preference for a candidate of another race and real likelihood of voting for that candidate. In hindsight, it seems that PPP (or another pollster) should have found a way to tease out a "Sanford effect." Then again, who knew? We naively thought these South Carolina Republicans really believe what they say about traditional values.

I'm predicting this won't be a problem in the New York mayoral race if Anthony Weiner decides to run. One way or the other, I think my fellow New Yorkers and I will tell you the truth about Weiner. I really don't think we're hypocrites or self-deceivers. That sort of phony sexual moralizing isn't likely to be a factor here. But we'll see.


Victor said...

Democrats can't cheat or whore, and get elected, or reelected. The same rules don't apply to them.
Even sending photo's of your "junk" over the Intertoobs can be a fatal career move for a politican, if not a fatal matrimonial one.

I'm not surprised at all.

Jesus forgave him, and, so did 54% of the rubes in that state that's too big to be an asylum.

The only thing that I though might cost him this race, was that he didn't cheat on his wife with an American woman, but instead, with an Argentinian woman.

But, now I think I have an idea of why salsa is outselling catsup as a condiment.

Uncle Mike said...

The thing that I thought would lose the race for Sanford (oh, naive me!) was the fact that he abandoned his job (to "hike the...etc.") and his own lt. gov. could not contact him for days.

But then he started debating a cardboard stand-up of Pelosi, and I started that slow, sardonic, end-of-80s-film clap of respect.

Steve M. said...

Right-wingers hate government. I don't know why any of us (me included) ever thought leaving one's government post would be seen as a terrible thing. To right-wingers, that's like leaving a whorehouse -- the problem is that you shouldn't ever have been there in the first place.

BH said...

If Busch had really wanted that seat, she should have run in the R primary - it's that simple. That's how one-party states roll. Back in my youth, Tx was one-party D, and no one besides eccentric no-hopers were to be found running for any R nomination. It's the same way now, just with the party designations reversed. Ditto SC.

Chris Andersen said...

I think the "Sanford Effect" is that many voters may have personally liked Busch, but they didn't want to vote for someone who might help Obama.