And You Would Be ... ?
Americans have trouble recognizing many political figures
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 23) -- Beyond the Beltway, Americans have a lot of trouble identifying many major figures in U.S. political life, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.
Fewer than one American in 10, for instance, could identify Louis Freeh or Ralph Reed. But when it comes to sports, overwhelming majorities of those surveyed could identify Tiger Woods or Dennis Rodman.
The Pew survey, conducted last week, polled 615 adults and has a margin of sampling error of +/- 4.5 percentage points.
Eighty-two percent knew Woods, the golf star, and 80 percent recognized Rodman, the cross-dressing bad boy of pro basketball. But only nine percent knew Ralph Reed, the conservative political activist, and only eight percent recognized FBI Director Louis Freeh.
Other political figures also lagged in the recognition sweepstakes:
Alan Greenspan, the powerful chairman of the Federal Reserve, 40 percent; John Huang, a central figure in the campaign finance mess, 20 percent; Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, 20 percent; Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, 15 percent; and Webster Hubbell, another Whitewater figure and ex-Clinton Administration official, 15 percent.
Across the Atlantic, the new British prime minister, Tony Blair, was also identified by only 15 percent of those surveyed.
Eighteen percent could identify Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess champion recently beaten by a computer. And after weeks of unrelenting hype, how many people could identify Ellen DeGeneres, who came out as a lesbian on her TV show? Her recognition quotient was 62 percent.
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