A new poll by the Fox News Channel has found that embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay wins the title 'most popular' in a head to head match up with United Nations head Kofi Annan. While the fair and balanced poll gives the Texas representative cause to celebrate, the good news is tempered by the fact that few Americans seem to have heard of Mr. Annan.
Fox poll finds support for private Social Security accounts on the rise--despite overwhelming public opposition
By Deanna Swift
NEW YORK—A new poll conducted by the Fox News Channel has found that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is not the most unpopular man in the US. While only 21% of Americans said they were fans of the Texas Representative, that still left Mr. DeLay on top—of United Nations chief Kofi Annan.
Who do you love?
Participants in the national telephone poll were given a list of names of political leaders and asked whether their opinions of them were favorable, unfavorable, "I can't say" or "never heard of the guy." On the list: former President Bill Clinton, his wife, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. DeLay and Mr. Annan.
Just 16% of Americans said that they had a favorable opinion of Mr. Annan. A surprising 55% of those polls had no knowledge or opinion of the U.N. leader despite months of intense coverage of the Oil for Food Scandal on the Fox News Channel. Experts speculate that the American public's familiarity with Mr. Annan may have begun to slip when Fox shifted its emphasis away from the crisis at the U.N. to round-the-clock coverage of the Terri Schiavo feeding tube crisis instead.
Americans were not asked about their opinion of Mr. Annan's son, Kojo, or if they had seen or plan to see the new thriller "The Interpreter," starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, and filmed in the headquarters of the United Nations.
The DeLay vs. Annan popularity contest was just one of many questions put to Americans in a wide-ranging telephone poll that touched on issues that Fox News Channel viewers will recognize as being among the most important faced by our nation. While most other polls have demonstrated little support for the President's plan to revamp Social Security for example, the Fox poll finds that support is strong—when the question is asked the right way.
According to the Fox poll, 77% of Americans said that they trust themselves and their families when it comes to handling retirement investment decisions. Only 15% said that they trust the federal government to make those decisions for them. The elite liberal media outlet, The New York Times, recently reported that most Americans are too dumb to handle such retirement investments.
While President Bush's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, was not included in the popularity portion of the poll, participants were asked if nominees should be penalized just because they are assholes or have been assholes in the past. Fifty-nine percent of Americans said that it is "unacceptable" for a U.S. Senator to base his or her vote on a presidential nominee solely on whether the nominee has at times had a confrontational management style.
It's your birthday
How the poll was conducted: Opinion Dynamics Corporation, a Cambridge, MA, survey research firm uses a computerized method in which a two-digit random number is added to the first eight digits of an actual working phone number to produce what is called a random digit dial sample. Use of such samples allows pollsters to contact listed and unlisted numbers, as well as households with new numbers. The interviewer then asks to speak to the adult with the next birthday.
Deanna Swift can be reached at email@example.com