As they were in New Hampshire, the polls were wildly off in gauging the thinking of California Democrats and independent voters. Virtually every one reported a day-to-day Obama surge and a neck-and-neck race between Clinton and Obama. One Reuters-Zogby-CSPAN poll published yesterday morning even had Barack ahead by 13 points. And yet Hillary wound up beating Barack 52 to 42. How could the pollsters have been so titanically wrong? What were they smoking?
Absentee ballots that reflected the Hillary-favoring situation two or three weeks ago played a part, I’m guessing. And race-gender Balkanization was undoubtedly a major factor. (“Beware over-40 Hispanics and Asian Americans!,” says the old soothsayer to the Obama team.) But still, on some level people had to have been fantasizing or flat-out lying to the pollsters. That or the old Bradley effect kicked in (i.e., voters got into the voting booth and just couldn’t quite pull the lever for a black guy). Pollsters aren’t making these numbers up so there has to be an explanation. Somebody needs to really study this and figure it out.