Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pollsters Don't Have Enough to Do

From a Public Policy Polling press release (PDF):

Though not the most popular figure PPP has polled, if God exists, voters are prepared to give it good marks. Voters approve of God’s performance by 52-9 margin, making God about as popular as [Rupert] Murdoch is unpopular. When asked to evaluate God on some of the issues it is responsible for, voters give God its best rating on creating the universe, 71-5. They also approve of its handling of the animal kingdom 56-11, and even its handling of natural disasters 50-13. Young voters are prepared to be more critical of God on natural disasters with those 18-29 rating it 59-26 compared to 47-12 among those over 65.

The approval ratings are pretty stable across the board: groups rating themselves as very liberal, somewhat conservative, or very conservative give God approval ratings higher than 50%, and groups rating themselves as moderate just under; only the 'somewhat liberal' category shows a serious dip, at 40%. (The 'somewhat liberal' group is also the most likely to disapprove of this whole creation thing that God is famous for, and are also more likely to disapprove of God's running of the animal world. If Heaven were run like the White House, the Archangel Gabriel -- who would obviously run the press office -- would be telling God that he needs more lions lying down with lambs, or at least more photo ops of lions lying down with lambs.) Both the very liberal and somewhat liberal groups have much higher disapproval ratings, although in both cases under 20%. The 'not sure' group was for none of the questions any larger than one would expect of a typical survey question. Unsurprisingly, women are definitely more likely to approve of God's overall performance than men, and men are more likely to disapprove of God's performance in matters of natural disasters than women, although the two groups are essentially identical on the animal world and creation questions. Young people are much more likely to approve of God all the way across the board, although, except in the case of creation, they are somewhat more likely to disapprove all the way across the board.

Also unsurprisingly, people like God much better than Congress. One wonders if this is the reason for much of the religiosity of the United States: we have to trust in God, because otherwise Congress is the best we've got.

All this is useless information, of course.

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