Rare if not unique among pollsters, Public Policy Polling tries not to take itself too seriously. Their latest attempt to inject some levity into the often brittle world of opinion surveys is quite inspired:
Last month PPP found that Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was viewed favorably by 89% of voters in Wisconsin, a record high level of popularity in all our polling across the country. It got us to wondering—can anyone top that? So on our national poll last weekend we tested a bunch of figures with near universal appeal in order to find an answer to that question.
The answer is yes!
Two people managed to beat Rodgers by exceeding the 90% mark for popularity. Abraham Lincoln is seen positively by 91% of Americans, compared to only 2% with an unfavorable opinion. And Jesus Christ has a 90% favorability rating with only 3% of voters seeing him in a negative light. With Republicans, Jesus is at a 96/0 spread, which suffice it to say is a first in our polling.
I'm honestly surprised that Lincoln polls so well, given the long-lingering resentments in certain parts of the country over the Civil War. That he narrowly beats out Jesus, well, that's pretty impressive stuff!
Everyone else PPP tested failed to meet the lofty "Aaron Rodgers line":
• George Washington (86-3)
• Mother Theresa (83-5)
• Martin Luther King (74-10)
• Santa Claus (67-13)
• Nelson Mandela (64-26)
• Mahatma Ghandi (64-27)
• Steve Jobs (62-10)
Check out Tom Jensen's post for some interesting insights into the crosstabs on each of these famous figures. For instance, 75 percent of Republicans like Santa while only 61 percent of Democrats do. How much do you wanna bet Bill O'Reilly will find a way to use this as evidence of his imagined "War on Christmas"?
Anyhow, do you think anyone could beat Lincoln—or Jesus? Let's hear suggestions in comments!