Opinion polls can be useful, or they can be distractions. Whether they are accurate snapshots of the moment's truth depends. It can depend on the methodology and the motives of the pollsters. Or, it can depend on how much the respondents gamed the process by answering questions in a way to tilt the results. After all, no one is obliged to tell pollsters the truth.
And, sometimes a poll can be quite entertaining. The poll mentioned above falls into that category for me. Here are some other results:
- 77 percent said that public school students ought to be taught the book of Genesis to learn how the world was created; 51 percent said that sex education should not be taught in public schools.
- 55 percent said gays should not be allowed to serve in the armed forces; 73 percent said openly gay people should not be allowed to teach in public schools.
- 53 percent said Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Barack Obama.
The results do offer some insight into why Republican candidates often strike the rather backward, anti-intellectual poses they do in primaries and in opposing Democrats. And, it may also underline why it's practically useless to try to compromise with Republican politicians who fear answering to voters who hold fast to beliefs such as those reflected in the aforementioned poll.