Leading up to the election, talk of the Bradley effect was all over the place — everyone was watching to see whether in the privacy of the voting booth, people would really pull the lever (or fill in the arrow) for the first black president. Then there was talk about the "Obama effect" — people voting for him because of his race rather than his qualifications. Since Barack Obama's decisive victory, neither theory has been thrown around too much, but there's a new effect in town.
This week, Thomas Freidman floated the theory of the "Buffett effect", meaning that older white men told their buddies they would go McCain, but when filling out their ballots, Obama got the votes. The name, of course, refers to Warren Buffett, who may have influenced the affluent community to have faith in bringing America together, despite higher taxes. That, combined with the energy of the youth vote — the children and grandchildren of these men — inspired the change of heart.
While there's something to be said for that, how about the possibility of no effect at all? Just read more.
As it turns out, people were honest about who they were planning to vote for which means that all these "effects" may have had no effect at all. In fact, only 19 percent of voters said that race was a factor in their decision, down from twice as many earlier this year, and it doesn't seem like people were lying. While hopefully this is further proof that the election was about finding the right leader for our country, it was still a historical moment for the United States.
Any Obama/Bradley/Buffett effect loses some credibility when the record-breaking youth vote is taken into account. Perhaps it wasn't about what the older population was doing in the booths so much as the youth population actually figuring out where the booth was, and not feeling any pressure to cover up their choice. So what do you think, did any of these catch phrase "effects" affect the election? Or do you have a name for an effect all your own?