(CNN) – Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said the so-called Bradley effect could cost Barack Obama several battleground states— and possibly the presidency.
The political phenomenon that has afflicted some African-American politicians is mostly closely associated with the failed gubernatorial hopes of Tom Bradley, who was mayor of Los Angeles in 1982 when he ran for California’s highest political office. In the 1980s and early 1990s, polls in statewide or other high-profile races in which a white candidate was running against a black candidate typically overestimated the share of the vote that the black candidate ultimately received.
Because this affected black candidates like Tom Bradley in California, Douglas Wilder in Virginia, and David Dinkins in New York City, this has variously been known as the "Bradley effect," the "Wilder effect," or the "Dinkins effect." In the past 15 years or so, there is no indication that this phenomenon has been a factor in statewide races — but no national test, since Obama is the first African-American candidate with a legitimate chance at the White House.
Race “is still a problem in this country,” Brown told American Morning’s John Roberts. “It goes away when there are other troubles that are more challenging and right now, whether or not we survive in the economy is more challenging. But race could rear its ugly head. I just hope it doesn’t before November 4.”
Brown also said there’s “absolutely” a possibility that support for Obama is being overestimated in polls - and that race may cost Obama 4 or 5 percentage points in key states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia.
(CNN) – Lynn Forester de Rothschild, once a prominent supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s bid for president who has switched her allegiance to Sen. John McCain, is pushing back on attempts by some Democrats to “play the class card” against her.
De Rothschild, the wife of a scion of the British Rothschild family that made its fortune in private banking, is standing by her charge that it is Sen. Barack Obama who is the elitist. “An elitist is someone whose state of mind is that they’re better than the rest of us,” Rothschild told CNN’s John Roberts on American Morning Thursday. “As president, he will be very full of himself. That is elitist, ok. To be privileged is not elitist.”
Rothschild pointed to her middle-class origins in response to Democratic charges that she is an elitist. “I am a girl from New Jersey. A middle-class family. My father worked two jobs. Four kids went to college, law school. I earned a good part of the fortune that we have,” she said.
De Rothschild, a lawyer and entrepreneur who made a reported $100 million in telecommunications before she met Sir Evelyn Rothschild, was a prolific fundraiser for Sen. Clinton. On American Morning, she defended McCain’s record on equal pay for women, an issue the Obama campaign highlighted on the same day de Rothschild announced her endorsement of McCain.
“Trying to tag John McCain as ‘not good for women’ is just insane,” de Rothschild said Wednesday. She also told Roberts that McCain has “a record” of taking on special interests, bipartisanship, leadership, and making tough decisions while Obama only has “rhetoric” on all of those points.
(CNN) – Sure, the national polls are fun to look at - but as any political junkie will tell you, they’re only a broad-brush snapshot of voter sentiment. We don’t choose a president based on a national vote (much to Al Gore’s chagrin). It’s all about the state-by-state battle for the Electoral College. There are 50 states in the union, but at present CNN Politics lists only 8 as tossups: Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada. Those are the states that will decide the election, and within those states, a small slice of voters will likely turn the tide.
New CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls just out give us a snapshot of four of those states. In Michigan, polls suggest Obama has a 4 point edge with 49 percent of voter preference. In New Hampshire, he has a 6 point advantage at 51 percent, while McCain has a 4 point edge in Virginia and 5 point advantage in Missouri, with 50 percent of the vote in both states. So if the election were held today, Obama would claim 21 electoral votes, McCain 24 and put the national count at 264 – 213 in favor of Obama, with four states still up for grabs.
There are some commonalities between the states in terms of issues, but each also has its own signature concerns. And here’s where you come in. Every day for the next 8 days on American Morning, we’re going to take a state-specific look at the issues affecting voters in the battlegrounds. We’ll be joined by radio talk show hosts from each swing state – people with their fingers on the pulse of the electorate – and let them field questions of importance to our viewers.
So here’s where you come in. If you live in the battlegrounds, e-mail us about the issue that affects you most. Go to www.cnn.com/AM and follow the links to submit your question. To help us sift through them all, please put your state at the beginning in the “message” box.
So – calling all voters in the battlegrounds! This is your latest chance to be heard on CNN — part of our continuing commitment to bring you the information you need to make an informed choice on November 4.
(CNN) – Even though the high turnout among young voters may be getting a lot of attention this primary season, senior citizens also have strong feelings about the long, tight nomination race between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
In this clip from American Morning, watch Jean Weiss, an Obama supporter made famous by Obama’s offer to make her his No. 2 on the Democratic ticket, as she faces off against Clinton supporter Margaret O’Brien.
(CNN) - The Internet has been abuzz since Sen. Barack Obama gave his concession speech Tuesday after losing the Pennsylvania Democratic primary to rival Sen. Hillary Clinton. But, all the talk hasn't been about anything said by Obama. Instead, the attention has been focused on the three young men who were behind Obama wearing Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts.
Watch John Roberts and Kyra Phillips interview "the Abercrombie guys" in this clip from American Morning.
Related video: Watch Jeanne Moos's Aber-Obama and Fitch
(CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson touted his own foreign policy experience Thursday morning while diminishing that of his democratic rivals.
“I’m the one that is the most consistent,” says Richardson. The Iraq war “is the fundamental issue here in Iowa and so all of these candidates are now shifting to my position.”
Watch the entire interview with American Morning’s John Roberts.
–CNN's Emily Sherman
(CNN) - As we head into the holiday season, Time Magazine political analyst Mark Halperin has a few suggested additions for the wish lists of the top presidential contenders.
With Republicans, fellow Democrats and certain segments of the media all coming after New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Halperin thinks she should wish for a “suit of armor.”
“She’s the most likely next president of the United States, but she needs a hard shell for the next few weeks,” said Halperin in an interview with CNN’s John Roberts.
Halperin went on to say that Sen. Barack Obama needs “magic fairy dust” for a victory in one of the next Democratic debates in order to show voters that he is a better candidate than Sen. Clinton. As for John Edwards, he needs to hope that Sens. Clinton and Obama “knock each other out” in order for him to sneak up and win the nomination.
Halperin recommended a puppy for Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. “When the times get tough….he wants people to think of him as a soft and cuddly guy,” said Halperin. Lastly, Halperin suggested that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee should wish for “hard cash” in order to maintain a competitive edge against “guys with tens of millions dollars.”
– CNN’s Emily Sherman
(CNN) - The revelation by a former White House spokesman that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were "involved" in the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson's identity shows how the White House "closed ranks" to protect themselves, her husband, Joe Wilson, said Wednesday.
The information - from an upcoming book by Scott McClellan - also shows how important it was to the administration to commute the sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Wilson said on CNN's "American Morning."
"I think it now makes it very clear the extent to which the vice president was involved, which, of course, then makes it very clear how important to the vice president the commutation of Mr. Libby's sentence was," the former U.S. ambassador said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend warned Tuesday that terrorists could launch an attack against the U.S. in 2008, and noted that the Bush administration is already putting in place a plan to ensure there is a smooth transfer of power following the elections.
Townsend told CNN’s John Roberts that there is no “specific threat” the U.S. has picked up, but noted there were attacks in Spain and England around elections in those countries.
“We know that Al Qaeda views these periods as being a particularly vulnerable period,” she said on CNN’s ‘American Morning.’ “We don't have any specific information, but given our experience and what we know, I believe we've got a real obligation to prepare for that transition between the election and the inauguration in a special way.”
Townsend offered this warning as she prepares to leave her job counseling President Bush on homeland security matters.
Related video: Watch Townsend in The Situation Room Monday
– CNN’s Emily Sherman