Bizarre Poll Result of the Day

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."

Presented by

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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In