Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 19, 2024

These questions might make for better poll results

The latest poll by the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a conservative think tank, is out. Full of surprises it is not. Upon surveying 1,197 registered Tennessee voters online, it reports that:

• Tennesseans favor Donald Trump over Joe Biden for president by 57% to 29%. If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is tossed into the mix, the margin drops to 48 to 25, with Kennedy attracting 16% – a political choice roughly on a par with supporting Mickey Mouse, but there you have it.

• For the Senate, Marsha Blackburn outpolls her likely Democratic opponent, Gloria Johnson, by 16 points, 42 to 26. This despite the fact that only 41% of respondents approve of the job Blackburn is doing. By comparison, 48% give a thumbs-up to Gov. Bill Lee.

• Only 25% say they are satisfied with the way things are going in this country, though 53% like what they see around them in Tennessee. In what is perhaps related, almost half – 49% – agree that “Generally speaking, the way state government runs in Tennessee serves as a good model for other states to follow.” (These people are clearly not paying much attention to the state government in Tennessee.)

Among other tidbits:

• Slightly more than one-third (37%) identify as Taylor Swift fans.

• Some 34% say they are Protestant, 7% Roman Catholic, 4% atheist and 1% Jewish or Muslim. Thirty percent claim “something else,” and 18% “nothing in particular.”

As to favored economic systems, 58% strongly or somewhat prefer capitalism, with 9% opting for socialism. Again, not a shocker, though it is a bit puzzling that 15% couldn’t make up their minds.

I’m not a big fan of polls, especially since the presidential election of 2016. (Draw your own conclusions.) But if I were conducting my own survey, here’s a baker’s dozen questions that I’d pose:

1. What gender do you identify as?

(a) Male

(b) Female

(c) Male, but I do enjoy a warm bubble bath and hard seltzers

(d) Don’t know

2. What is your race/ethnicity?

(a) Red

(b) Yellow

(c) Black

(d) White (Note: All are precious.)

3. I get most of my information on current events from:

(a) Newspapers and television

(b) Social media

(c) Encoded dispatches from anonymous sources left in secret drop spots

(d) My hairstylist

4. Financial status:

(a) I wish I had more money

(b) I have all the money I need and more. Too much, even

(c) Joe Biden and the DemoRats are taking all my money

(d) I’ve pledged my money to Donald Trump’s defense fund. MAGA!

5. Who is most deserving of having a Nashville street named for him/her?

(a) John Prine

(b) Dolly

(c) Taylor Swift

(d) Mookie Betts

6. Who is your favorite Freddie?

(a) Nashvile Mayor Freddie O’Connell

(b) Freddie Freeman

(c) Freddie Mercury

(d) Freddie the Freeloader

7. Someone has given you $1 million, tax free. Would you:

(a) Save/invest it for your children’s education

(b) Quit your job and embark on a world tour

(c) Donate it to your favorite charities

(d) Splurge on a two-bedroom, one-bath home in Nashville

8. If Morgan Wallen is found guilty of throwing a chair off the roof of Chief’s bar on Broadway, he should be sentenced to 30 days of:

(a) Home detention

(b) Community service

(c) Jail

(d) Jason Aldean/Kid Rock concerts

9. What should be included in a transit plan for Nashville?

(a) More sidewalks

(b) More bike paths

(c) More bus routes

(d) More one-way streets leading out of town

10. What is the greatest peril facing this country?

(a) Attacks on the Second Amendment

(b) Runaway immigration

(c) Artificial intelligence

(d) People in red hats

11. What would you change about Tennessee?

(a) Build a wall around it

(b) Charge newcomers an entry fee

(c) Abolish daylight saving time

(d) Give Memphis to Arkansas

12. The best defense against a school shooter is:

(a) A teacher with a gun

(b) A school full of teachers with guns

(c) Let’s give the kids guns, too

(d) Is the shooter trans?

13. If you had a spot in your side yard that needed some tallish vegetation, kind of in between a bush and a tree, would you plant:

(a) Crepe myrtle

(b) Dogwood

(c) Cherry laurel

(d) Possumhaw (I did not make that up.)

Joe Rogers is a former writer for The Tennessean and editor for The New York Times. He is retired and living in Nashville.