What America <i>Really</i> Thinks

U.S. Missionary Robert Park sits in a car with his mother and father following his return to the U.S. at the to the Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday, Feb. 06, 2010. Park was detained in North Korea after crossing the border from China on Christmas Day. (AP Photo/David Zentz) AP Photo/David Zentz

Great news! The results for last month's Garver Poll are in. I was very pleased by the number of people who participated, proving that Americans like to give their opinions (and that I might not be the only person who will do just about anything to avoid work). Regarding the accuracy of the poll, remember I have no background in statistics whatsoever. I've never even been all that good at subtraction — especially when a 9 or a 0 is involved. If you are looking for a poll that is statistically accurate, you should check out a real CBS News Poll or some other legitimate survey. If you just want to have fun, keep reading.

Here are the questions that were asked. The answers in BOLD, ALL CAPS, AND UNDERLINED are the ones that most people gave.


1. If the Presidential election were held today, would you be more likely to:
    a. Vote for one of the major party candidates?

    Or

    b. ASK, "WHY AM I VOTING TODAY INSTEAD OF IN NOVEMBER?" (61%)
Analysis: Maybe this proves that you can't fool all the people all the time, except in November.

2. Which do you think might actually be connected to something:
    a. That button you push to supposedly make the red light change to green faster?

    Or

    b. THE VOTING MACHINE WHERE YOU CAST YOUR BALLOT? (55%)
Analysis: 0% felt that voting machines were connected to traffic signals.

3. What do you think is the bigger "whopper?"
    a. Barry Bonds has never knowingly taken steroids?"

    Or

    b. PRESIDENT BUSH SAYING, "DONALD RUMSFELD HAS BEEN A SUPERB SECRETARY OF DEFENSE?" (86%)
Analysis: At 86% to 14%, finally the president is ahead again in one poll.

4. Which would put you to sleep faster:
    a. AN EXPLANATION OF THE NEW TAX FORMS? (70%)

    Or

    b. Listening to a John Kerry speech?
Analysis: Nobody volunteered that they would be able to fill out their tax forms while listening to John Kerry.

5. This summer, which are you more likely to spend $25 on?
    a. Bill Clinton's new autobiography?

    Or

    b. A GALLON OF GAS? (82%)
Analysis: "Full service" has become so expensive that most of us go for "self service," even though we end up spilling some gas on our shoes.

6. When you are a guest at someone's house for the first time, are you more likely to:
    a. TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW THEY COULD POSSIBLY AFFORD THE PLACE? (75%)

    Or

    b. Go through their medicine cabinet?
Analysis: Americans are more interested in what their friends put in their pockets than in their bodies.

7. Right after a job promotion, would you rather run into:
    a. That ex-lover who said you'd never succeed?

    Or

    b. THAT OLD TEACHER WHO SAID YOU'D NEVER SUCCEED? (68%)
Analysis: Americans might get over tragic love affairs, but we don't forget teachers who picked on us. Especially ones who were mean and made our parents come to school and didn't let me explain that I didn't ... never mind.

8. Now that "Friends" is over, do you care...
    a. More than words could describe?

    Or

    b. SLIGHTLY LESS THAN WHEN I LEARNED THAT ZIP CODES WERE GOING TO ADD FOUR MORE DIGITS? (96.42%)
Analysis: Surprisingly, over 96 percent of people who responded didn't care much about "Friends" going off the air. This suggests that either there is something wrong with my survey or with the Nielsen ratings. I think we all know the answer to that one.


Because the poll was so popular, I have decided to continue this feature from time to time. This week, I'm only asking you one question.

This Week's Garver Poll Question:

In a press conference over two months ago, President Bush was asked what his biggest mistake had been and what lessons he may have learned from it. The president couldn't think of any mistakes immediately, and said, "I'm sure something will pop into my head ... Maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one." He still hasn't come up with one.

Do you:
    a. Think the President deserves more time to think of a mistake?

    Or

    b. Think he should have been able to think of a mistake by now?
I promise to count every vote, and I assume that you will treat your answers with the same seriousness that I treat the questions.



Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover.

By Lloyd Garver
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