Mickey Kaus, in Slate, ref’ing Noam Scheiber from The New Republic, misses an obvious interpretation:
But what if this black Bradley Effect operates in the other direction–black voters tell pollsters they are going to vote for Obama (because they feel that’s expected of them) and then vote for Hillary or Edwards?
What if they tell pollsters that because of how torn we are between Clinton and Obama? Blacks might know, or suspect, they’re going to vote Old School but symbolically ‘vote’ for Obama in a poll. If I didn’t immediately hang up on the pests, I’d say I was voting for Obama when I know very well my mind’s far from made up. I just want to give him a shout-out and let America know we’re on the move. ‘Voting’ in a poll is cost-free. Voting in the booth—that’s the real deal. As for the notion that blacks avoid telling pollsters the truth for fear of being suspected of group think…a sister has to chuckle. Frontin’ to a faceless Zogby drone on the phone, or even at the polling place when you’re high on the franchise, is the least of our concerns; right or wrong, we know you think much worse of us than that. We could yell our support of OJ to the skies but tremble to say Hillary’s name? Right.
Ah, black complexity. When will white folks ever catch a clue?