Race and Class in NH
Andrew Kohut, the reliable Pew pollster, has an op-ed piece in Thursday’s Times that seems like the probable explanation for the polling failure in the Clinton/Obama race in NH
Update: Eugene Robinson has an assessment of the race issue and the Bradley effect in his Washpost columan today (Friday). His are the first comments I’ve seen about Clinton’s get-out-the-vote operation suggesting that was part (and only part) of her victory. Take a look:
UPDATE 1/12/06 This from John Judis at TNR
But an additional factor may have been at work. Some of the polls seem to have significantly underrepresented the women’s vote. For instance, the Suffolk University/WHDH poll, which surveyed voters on Sunday and Monday and came the closest to predicting the final result, estimated a 39 to 34 percent Obama win by working off the assumption that 53 percent of primary voters would be women. According to exit polls, though, the breakdown was 57 percent women to 43 percent men. If you rejigger the Suffolk/WHDH poll to take into account the real mix of women to men, what you get is something like 38 percent Obama and 35 percent Clinton–which is within the 4.38 percent margin of error for the final results.
That may not be the reason why other polls got the result so wrong, but the under-representation of woman voters, coupled with the volatility of the electorate (as evidenced by the last minute shift of college-educated women voters), is a far more plausible hypothesis than the one that Kohut, Sullivan, and Robinson provide. This is not to say that there weren’t people who did not vote for Obama because he is black. But, clearly, a hidden racist vote is neither an explanation for Clinton’s victory nor the pollsters’ error in predicting it. A closer reading of the evidence also has the benefit of not accusing half of New Hampshire Democratic primary voters of being racists. Whole thing here: