The Bradley effect, the butterfly effect, the 1984 Olympics
Thomas Bradley was police chief in Los Angeles. I remember when he was elected mayor. I remember when the man he beat was first elected mayor.
Sam Yorty had been mayor for 5 terms. He was first elected mayor on a campaign that said 5 terms is enough and his predecessor had been there long enough. After Sam had been mayor for 5 terms, he ran for a 6th term, and Tom Bradley was elected mayor.
When Bradley ran for governor, he was favored in the polls. As a sidenote, my brother's boss was almost certainly going to go from L.A. City Council to become mayor (that's where the butterfly effect comes in).
If my memory is accurate, one of the key factors in that governor's race was a statewide initiative that had something to do with gun control. That skewed turnout I believe to cause more right-wing Republicans to vote. I don't know if the pollsters before and after that election considered that factor on the governor's race which was won by the Republican candidate.
When Los Angeles was considering hosting the Olympics, as I understand it, my brother was chief deputy for a different L.A. councilman who said he knew nothing about sports, and asked my brother to look into it.
The recently completed Montreal Olympics had been a financial disaster for the city. There was general bitterness and reluctance about hosting the Olympics. My brother, as I have pieced together, first proposed corporate sponsorships as a way of offsetting the cost.
So you never know what might have been, had there not been that statewide initiative on gun control. Mr. Bradley might have been elected governor. (I'm not sure how known and popular a local former police chief and mayor from Los Angeles would be statewide. Perhaps that contributed to his defeat also.)
We can be certain to hear the phrase "the Bradley effect" tomorrow, but I think it will be more talked about because of its absence in the results.