The results of a recent telephone poll of 407 Alabamians conducted by the Mobile Press-Register and The University of South Alabama were decidedly unimpressive:
As a Democrat from proudly liberal San Francisco, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might have a hard time winning votes in conservative, Republican-leaning Alabama. She has, however, made an impression.
More Alabamians could identify her than were able to name either of the state's two senators, according to findings of a new Press-Register/University of South Alabama poll.
When asked to identify the speaker, 49 percent of 407 adult residents correctly named Pelosi, the results show. Asked to do the same for one or both of Alabama's senators, 47 percent named Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, while 44 percent came up with Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa.
Alabamians had a hard time naming the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
Although the two rank among the leading lights of the federal government, barely one in 10 Alabamians could name either.
Who is Alberto Gonzales? Only about a third of Alabamians could name him as the Attorney General. We fared better on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, more than half could name her. And although Alabamians don't know Harry, John, Alberto, Jeff or Richard, we do know Dick:
Only about one-third identified Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, despite the barrage of unfavorable publicity he has endured over the firing of eight federal prosecutors. While more than half of Alabamians correctly matched Birmingham native Condoleezza Rice with her post as secretary of state, only Vice President Dick Cheney came close to universal recognition.
Now in office for more than six years, Cheney is regularly described as the most powerful vice president in history. More than four out of five respondents could name him.
I bet it was that hunting accident.
Brian at Flashpoint:
Flat out embarrassing. I would bet a tall stack of money that if they had asked about that Mangina or Sunjuice or whatever the hell that goofy looking guy on American Idol is named they would have gotten +75% knowledgeable responses. These are probably the people who vote straight ticket.
Some of the respondents to the poll were embarrassed as well:
More than one-quarter of those initially called by the polling group hung up by the third question, Nicholls said, because "they didn't want to embarrass themselves." Normally, the hang-up rate is below 10 percent, he said.
Republicans fared better than Democrats:
Republicans as a group tend to be slightly better educated and more politically attuned, Nicholls said, they consistently outperformed Democrats in the poll.