by Burt Prelutsky
First off, I would like to thank all of you who took part in the first annual Prelutsky Survey.
I am pleased to report that I received responses from 43 states, plus Puerto Rico. In addition, I heard from France, the Philippines, Canada, Norway, the Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom. Actually, I heard from two readers in the U.K. and three from Canada. The seven states that weren’t represented were Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Kansas and Rhode Island.
My main motivation, I will confess, was to find out how people in Hong Kong, Russia and Finland, ever came to be subscribers. I realize that a great many people show up once because they Google someone I’ve written about, but when they keep returning, as my tracking device tells me they do, I can’t help wondering why I have a fan or fans in, say, Finland. Alas, I may never find out. In the same way, I may never find out why my regular readers in Anchorage were no-shows.
All told, I had about 320 respondents, 75% of whom were men. The majority were 55 years old or older, with about 10% falling in the 35-44 age range and another 30% between 45 and 54.
Nearly everyone was a Republican, although 17 were Independents, eight were Libertarians and one identified himself as a Constitutionalist. But even among those 26, most confessed they had voted for McCain in 2008, although some made it very clear that they had actually voted for Sarah Palin.
Romney was overwhelmingly the person regarded as the strongest possible candidate against Obama, although there were eight or nine hold-outs for Santorum and Gingrich, and one each for Herman Cain and Paul Ryan.
In terms of education, 11 stopped going to school once they received their high school diploma. About 25% attended college, while 30% stuck around to get their four year degree and 40% stuck around even longer in order to pick up their doctorates.
Racially, almost everyone who got back to me was Caucasian. The exceptions were two blacks, one Asian, one Cherokee and one wisenheimer who insisted he was second generation Irish.
When it came to favorite news sources, the great majority mentioned Fox, Drudge, CNN, various blogs and the Wall Street Journal.
Slightly over 70% of those polled are married. Of the remaining 30%, most are divorced, followed by those who have never been married, while about 5% are widowed.
Only a third of those surveyed identify themselves as urban dwellers, while two thirds either live in the suburbs, rural areas or small towns.
I will confess that I expected that the largest response would come from Texas, and while I did hear from 35 Texans, I heard from 50 readers here in California. What that led me to realize is that Texans are simply far more likely than other people to identify their home state, and even their hometown, in their messages. The only other states that reached double figures were Florida (21), Arizona (15), Colorado (12), Georgia (12), New York (12), Illinois (11) and Alabama (10).
By a 2-1 margin, people who insist they aren’t influenced one way or another by a candidate’s religion out-numbered those who admit they are.
In something of a surprise to me, those who are influenced by a Tea Party endorsement turned out to be the exact same number as those who say they’re not.
When it came to Barack Obama, those who believe he is destined to lose the election in November out-numbered the more depressed among you 80% to 20%.
Only a quarter of those surveyed believe Obama is constitutionally qualified to be the president, while three quarters either doubt that he is a natural-born American or are absolutely convinced he is not. When it comes to his religion, nearly the same percentage of people suspicious of his nationality also suspect he is really a Muslim.
One of the survey results that gladdened my heart was that everyone who had ever written to me, which was roughly a third of you, was either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with my response.
I was even given a reason to get over my bitter feelings about the way I was unceremoniously dumped a few years ago by Townhall.com. It seems that nearly half of those polled had first come across my articles during the few years I was a regular contributor to that website, and once I was cut loose went to the trouble of tracking me down.
My biggest shock was the response to the question regarding what you would say to Barack Obama if you had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him for half an hour. I really had no idea that God-fearing conservatives knew half those words. Especially not God-fearing conservative women!