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Now John Judis Is Scaring *me*

Judis makes a great point in his otherwise overly-optimistic post on the polls:

I mention the Bradley effect because I think, too, that McCain and Sarah Palin's attack against Obama for advocating "spreading the wealth" and for "socialism" and for pronouncing the civil rights revolution a "tragedy" because it didn't deal with the distribution of wealth is aimed ultimately at white working class undecided voters who would construe "spreading the wealth" as giving their money to blacks. It's the latest version of Reagan's "welfare queen" argument from 1980. It if it works, it won't be because most white Americans actually oppose a progressive income tax, but because they fear that Obama will inordinately favor blacks over them.


Worse, though I have no evidence for this (nothing new there), I worry that these insinuations are reinforced in the minds of working-class whites by the millions of African-Americans lining up early to vote for Obama. How sad for the country if McCain ends up jujitsuing something (i.e., record turnout) that should be a source of pride.

More agita this afternoon...

P.S. I think this stuff really underscores the wisdom of buying that half-hour block of television tonight. It's just hard to think "scary socialist" or, for that matter, scary anything when Obama addresses you directly.

Update: Ed Kilgore is also worried about a possible early-voting backlash. And he's actually got some evidence that it's happening (albeit highly circumstantial). 

--Noam Scheiber