Bizarre Poll Result of the Day

More

I've been known to engage in some Mark Penn-bashing in my day, but this passage from Microtrends is easily worth the price of admission:

My friend and colleague Sergio Bendixen, president of Bendixen and Associates in Miami and a preeminent expert in Hispanic public opinion research, conducted a cell phone poll of 600 Californians, aged 16-22, and asked them (innocuously enough), "what do you think you will most likely be doing in ten years?" It was a open-ended question, meaning that the respondents could give any answer they wanted (rather than being guided by a list of possible answers). As expected, almost 70 percent of the young folks said they'd be working, some in a specific career or running their own businesses. Twelve percent said they'd be in college, and 12percent said they'd be raising a family. One percent said they'd be in the military. And then, like a bolt from the blue, another 1 percent of California's young respondents volunteered that, in ten years, they would most likely be snipers.

Now, fascinatingly, rather than presenting any additional research or taking the opportunity to inform people about the possibility of polling error, Penn just launches into several pages worth of explaining the causes of the rise of this "new ambition of the younger generation."

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In