Surprise! Voters Flunk Poll Questions

Likely, registered and dumb

By Steve Rhodes
|  Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009  |  Updated 8:41 AM CDT
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The Chicago Politics Quiz

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Do even "likely voters" who answer questions from political pollsters really have any idea what they are talking about?

Given the data that in the latest Tribune poll, the answer is a resounding and depressing No.

Consider:

Just 66 percent of those surveyed in the Trib poll said they had heard of state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Sure, not everyone should know who the state treasurer is, but the man is also the Democratic frontrunner for Barack Obama's old Senate seat. And these are registered voters we're talking about.

It gets worse.

Somehow, a relatively whopping 24 percent of those surveyed in the Trib poll said they had heard of U.S. Senate candidate Robert Marshall. Who? Even political pros haven't heard of Robert Marshall, a radiologist who works in Kankakee. Maybe voters thought the Trib was talking about the Robert Marshall who lives down the block, or whom they knew from school. Didn't know he was running for Senate! Good guy, though.

And how bummed out must Jacob Meister be? He's known to two percent fewer voters surveyed than Marshall, despite a million-dollar bankroll and the distinction of being the only gay man in the race. Geez, whaddya gotta do these days to get noticed?

Apparently work radiology in Kankakee. 

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review that is slightly less popular than Robert Marshall.

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