Tom Bradley

Secret sentiments could turn election into liar's dice

At this juncture, I wouldn't want to bet even a subprime mortgage on this presidential election. As perhaps never before, multiple hidden factors could alter the outcome.

Judging by polls, it would seem that Sen. Barack Obama will be our next president. But polls only reflect what people say they think, not what they really think. Which is to say, we have both an election and a shadow election in progress. The latter, in which unconscious motivations come into play and buried prejudices surface in the privacy of one's voting space, is the one that counts - and that can't be quantified in advance.

The 2008 election may prove to be history's highest-stakes game of liar's...