Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Interesting Part of the Poll

"The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press" conducted a few days ago, tells us all sorts of things about the opinions people hold on issues such as the president's overall job rating (low, at 43%), the Social Security debacle, DeLay's possible ethics violations and so on.

But the most interesting part of the survey is that most people just don't care, don't follow the news and don't know what their opinion might be:

The president's Social Security proposal attracted very close attention from 36% of the public, while 30% closely followed news on the economy. Only about one-in-five (22%) tracked reports on the selection of the new pope very closely, and even fewer tracked the debate over the Senate filibuster rules (14%) and ethics complaints against DeLay (8%) very closely.

This is useful to keep in mind next time when we wonder how people can vote for the idiots: most of this stuff that I love never makes a dent in the awareness of the average person. I suspect the real numbers following the news are even lower as we all tend to state we are more informed than we actually are.