Les élections vues par un Américain

Publié le par Section socialiste de Sciences-Po

Nous sommes le Jour J. Le Mardi 4 Novembre, celui qui rentrera peut-être dans l'histoire dans quelques années. N'hésitez pas à revenir sur le blog tout au long de la journée et de la nuit. De nombreux articles vous attendent !

Il y a quelques jours j'avais sollicité Richard Rhom, un très bon ami new-yorkais, amoureux de sa ville, et étudiant à Boston College, Massachussetts. Discuter de politique avec lui a toujours été source d'échanges nourris, sûrement les plus intéressants de ceux que j'ai pu avoir outre-atlantique. Richard s'est toujours montré extrêmement lucide et intelligemment critique sur les programmes démocrates et tient souvent des discours proches des nôtres. Je ne pense pas trahir le secret de son vote en vous confiant que Denis Kuchinic (le candidat démocrate le plus à gauche, libéral, durant les primaires) fut son premier choix.
J'ai donc cru intéressant de lui demander, aujourd'hui, jour d'élection, son opinion sur ces dernières heures précédant un scrutin éminemment important pour lui, pour les étudiants américains, pour les jeunes générations en général. Voici son texte intégral en V.O. Merci à lui!

(Thomas Ernoult)

The latest Gallup poll, conducted on October 31st, reveals that Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama has a thirteen percent lead over his opponent John McCain. Other pollsters, such as Rasmussen, predict a slightly narrower lead. The widespread belief among Obama supporters is that, yes, he will become our next president.

However, some political scientists worry about the so-called "Bradley effect," named after a black Californian gubernatorial candidate named Tom Bradley. In 1982, all the polls indicated that Bradley would be victorious in the election, but his white republican opponent ultimately won by a slim margin. This polling discrepancy- the difference between polls and votes regarding black candidates- was named after him. The most recent casualty of the Bradley effect, some pollsters claim, was Harold Ford Jr, who ran for the Senate in the state of Tennessee during the 2006 midterm elections. Polls predicted a close race, but the press seemed to assume he would win. He did not.

Political scientists debate whether or not the Bradley effect still even exists as part of the American political landscape. Those who claim that it does assert that, in order for black candidates to win against white ones, they need to have a double-digit lead over their opponent. Obama has cleared this hurdle; I have cited the recent Gallup poll above.

Another problem that may effect the outcome of tomorrow's vote is the location of voting booths themselves. Four years ago, in the decisive state of Ohio, some voters in predominantly democratic districts waited eight hours to cast their vote. A great many walked away, causing the state's electoral votes to go to (soon-to-be former) President Bush.

Other voting irregularities, from "pregnant ballots" to complicated electronic voting machines that do not leave a paper trail (made by companies, such as Diebold, whose owners have contributed greatly to Republican party campaigns), may also jeopardize the chance of an Obama Presidency.

Yet, despite the problems that plagued the last two Presidential elections, there is a widespread "hope" that "change" will win out over a McCain administration. During my last visit to New York City a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that, around the Union Square area, about one out of twenty pedestrians wore an Obama pin, t-shirt, or another related sign of support. Boston-area students are equally as outwardly supportive. Obviously, this doesn't represent the whole of the country.

The polls, however, agree that they do.

Richard Rhom
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Commenter cet article

Etienne 04/11/2008 12:55

On aura une bonne réponse ce soir sur les dits "effect"

Sharky 04/11/2008 12:08

Beware of the "Delanoe effect" in 2012!