By Father Jonathan Morris
In recent weeks I have spent a good amount of time crisscrossing the country.
Something very unusual is taking place.
From Seattle to San Diego, from Burlington, Vermont to New York City, from New Orleans to Texas and Midwest towns like Cleveland, I am hearing hushed admissions of a terrible sin: “Father, I’m not going to vote for Obama.”
Then I look at the polls. Nationally and in battleground States, Senator Obama is thrashing Senator McCain.
So what gives?
|Above: Father Jonathan|
Pollsters would tell me it’s all very simple. Anecdotal evidence, like my experience on the road, isn’t really evidence at all. It is not trustworthy because it is not scientific. The divergence between what people are telling me and the polling data must be that I run in closed circles. People of like minds talk to me; the others don’t.
Very logical…unless…unless people don’t want their neighbors (or pollsters) to know they aren’t voting for Obama.
So, are we talking here about the “Bradley Effect”, that well-documented racist phenomenon of people telling pollsters one thing and then doing the opposite in the voting booth simply because the candidate is black?
No. I am referring to something else — the fear of talking to pollsters, or to your neighbor, or to anyone else about not wanting to vote for Barack Obama because of what he stands for.
Do you have doubts? How would you like to get up in front of a crowded theater in a mixed neighborhood and say you are going to vote for McCain? What respectable person wants to risk being considered a racist or a war monger or a fan of President Bush or an enemy of change? Many good people would like to see a black man as our president, or even a Democrat to be our president, but don’t want Barack Obama.
Yes, this race is different in a way that defies the scientific nature of polls. Do you remember the hushed admissions? Why do people feel obliged to speak quietly? Will these people agree to talk to a pollster? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t.
Eight years ago in 2000 and four years ago in 2004 my parents’ Ohio neighborhood was filled with political yard signs. For every two “Gore” or “Kerry” signs there were at least two “Bush” signs. And there were many, many signs, I assure you. Not so today. When I asked local McCain workers in Summit County the reason, they answered quickly: we go to the doors, people wink at us in approval, and then refuse to allow us to place a sign in their yard. A significant number of voters may prefer McCain, but don’t want to show their disapproval of Obama.
What will this mean on November 4th? I don’t know for sure. I do think the election will be closer than the polls suggest.
And I think it all has much more to do with Obama, the candidate, and his plans to “spread the wealth,” nominate very liberal federal judges and bow to Planned Parenthood, than with his ethnicity.
What say you?
Father Jonathan Morris is author of the new book, “The Promise: God’s Purpose and Plan for when Life Hurts.” For more information click here.