The most recent California Poll shows Democrat Tom Bradley leading Republican George Deukmejian 52 to 38 percent in their gubernatorial race, but Friday Bradley's attention was elsewhere. He accused Deukmejian of "insulting" California voters by allowing the question of race to enter the campaign.
Bradley was reacting to the prediction by Bill Roberts, Deukmejian's campaign manager, that a hidden anti-black vote might decide the election. "If we go in . . . even, 3 or 4 or 5 points behind on election eve, I believe we'll win because I believe there is that much weakness in surveying a race like this," Roberts said.
"People have asked me, 'What way will it break for a black candidate?' You will not get the truth of the matter of what people are going to do in that regard," Roberts said. "While race has not been an issue in this campaign and won't be as far as we're concerned, it very much breaks both ways for both candidates."
Bradley said, "I think it is an insult to the voters of California. He implies the people have lied to the pollsters and that they are making a decision about the governor's race on a basis other than merit."