60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll: May Edition
Welcome to the 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll for May. May is known for an abundance of flowering trees and plants. It is also a month for races, with the first two legs of horse racing's Triple Crown taking place. First up is America's most famous "run for the roses," the Kentucky Derby which is run at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville. Two weeks later is the Preakness, which takes place at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Later in the month, it's a different kind of horse power, when the "Indy 500" roars around the track. Two other important days occur in May. The first is Mother's Day, when mothers are honored for the wonderful things that they do every day. And finally there is Memorial Day, marked by graveside services and visits, barbecues, family reunions and recreational activities of all kinds. It is a great American tradition. And now the results of this month's poll...
- Whose tweets would you like to follow?
People are often advised to avoid discussing religion or politics in polite company, but apparently that does not extend to tweeting. President Obama (31 percent) is the public figure most Americans would follow on Twitter. Next up are two spiritual leaders, the Dalai Lama (15 percent) and Pope Benedict (10 percent). Strange bedfellows, Justice Stephen Breyer and Ashton Kutcher each got seven percent and finally 22 percent think tweeting is for the birds.Check out the Vanity Fair slideshow.
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- How does God feel about us?
Half of all Americans believe God feels love towards us. Thirty percent think God is disappointed with us. Very few Americans think that God feels disinterest (seven percent), pride (five percent) or anger (five percent) towards us. Maybe it's like the parent who loves their children no matter what, but is still a little disappointed when they don't live up to their expectations.
- Which country would you skip on a European vacation?
The European country most Americans would skip visiting is Greece, with 25 percent saying they would slip past the financially challenged country. Next up are former World War enemies now allies, Germany (23 percent) and France (21 percent). Very few Americans (11 percent) would skip having a jolly good time in the U.K., and despite their many economic problems, only 10 percent would skip Spain and even fewer (five percent) would skip the beauty, food and "la dolce vita" of Italy.
- How do you like your hamburger cooked?
What's more American than a hamburger? And how do Americans like theirs cooked? Well done, according to 36 percent of American carnivores. Twenty-nine percent chose medium, 19 percent like them medium rare, and only four percent (the daredevils) picked rare. One in nine Americans don't even eat hamburgers. With scary stories of e. coli outbreaks and "pink slime" being added to hamburger, it appears the red juicy hamburger is being phased out and replaced by a much browner version. In this case it is possible that the term "well done" may be an oxymoron.
- Which holiday would you eliminate if you had to?
First Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays were combined to become Presidents Day and now 35 percent of Americans would be willing to scrap them all together. Next up is Martin Luther King Day with 22 percent and Labor Day with 20 percent. To their credit, only six percent of Americans would eliminate the solemn observances of Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Perhaps taking Washington's and Lincoln's names off of their own holidays and watering it down to "Presidents Day" made people think of Nixon and Hoover instead of the presidents that so ably helped to create and preserve our union.
- Rush Limbaugh is...
We didn't ask anybody to rush to judgment but 56 percent of Americans think that Mr. Limbaugh is offensive and usually wrong while 26 percent believe that he is entertaining and usually right. A whopping 77 percent of Democrats feel negatively toward the bombastic political pundit while 56 percent of Republicans feel positively toward their political standard bearer. Fifty-seven percent of Independents think he goes too far.
- What's the greatest archaeological discovery?
This month's fantasy question asks which of these is the greatest archaeological discovery? Thirty-eight percent of Americans chose the Dead Sea Scrolls, a symbol to many of their religious heritage. The scrolls beat out many impressive finds from ancient civilizations unearthed over the ages like King Tut's Tomb in Egypt (18 percent), and the remains of Pompeii in Italy (14 percent), 11 percent of Americans dig the Terra Cotta Warriors of China and eight percent found Macchu Picchu, the "lost city of the Incas" to be the greatest discovery.
- How many weeks of vacation would you vote for?
Forty-four percent of Americans think that four weeks of paid vacation hits the "sweet spot" for vacation time. A total of 35 percent (19 percent six weeks and 16 percent eight weeks) picked the more generous European traditions of paid time off. Only 18 percent of Americans still think that the traditional two weeks off is sufficient. As people re-prioritize what is important in their lives, what commodity is more valuable than our time?
- Which city would you rather live in for the rest of your life?
Ever since the Dodgers left New York for Los Angeles, the two cities have been fighting for supremacy. The chic, star-driven Hollywood with its sunny beaches versus the dynamic, fast paced sophistication of Gotham and its majestic skyscrapers. Forty-six percent of Americans would choose to live the rest of their lives in New York while 40 percent would choose L.A. More people under 45 chose the excitement of New York and more people over 45 chose the warmer less hectic left coast. Whether you prefer "L.A. Stories" or "Bronx Tales," both cities have a lot going for them.
- Which would have more influence on your vote?
The 2012 election may well rest on how Americans answer this question: If Americans are still undecided on Election Day, 47 percent would vote for the candidate with the best ideas for change and 28 percent would choose the candidate that they personally like the best. As America's two political parties become increasingly doctrinaire and divided, only 20 percent of Americans said they would "vote the party." Let the games begin.
- Which music genre do you find the hardest to enjoy?
Americans love their music, but the music 47 percent of them find the hardest to enjoy is the ear splitting heavy metal. Next up is hip hop with 25 percent followed by country (13 percent), jazz (seven percent) and classical (six percent). All the genres have plenty of devotees but it appears the louder the music the more difficult it is for some people to enjoy it.
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