Don't know/no opinion

state capitol night from ESP

If you follow "the news" regularly it's easy to get a sort of warped idea of what people in the general public know about or are following. So we thought this bit from the Siena poll out this week was interesting. The poll asked people this question:

I'm going to read a series of names of people and institutions in public life and I'd like you to tell me whether you have a favorable opinion or an unfavorable opinion of each person or institution I name.

Here are the percentages of respondents who replied that they either "don't know" or had "no opinion" for each of the following people:

+ Andrew Cuomo: 11 percent
+ Carl Heastie: 74 percent
+ John Flanagan: 74 percent
+ Sheldon Silver: 30 percent
+ Dean Skelos: 53 percent
+ Barack Obama: 15 percent
+ Chuck Schumer: 15 percent
+ Preet Bharara: 73 percent
+ Eric Schneiderman: 49 percent

Some of these are kind of what you'd expect. Cuomo, Obama, Schumer are well known. Heastie and Flanagan are both relatively new to their leadership positions in the legislature.

But Silver and Skelos? The poll was conducted December 6-10 -- after Silver's guilty verdict and before Skelos's. And you'd think Bharara might rate more of a reaction given how much he's been in the news lately. (A separate question asked how closely people were following the Silver and Skelos trials -- 47 percent said closely or somewhat closely.)

Another question asked people how likely to they'd be to re-elect their state legislators next year given the recent scandals. "Less likely" got 46 percent, "no effect" 37 percent, and "more likely" 10 percent.

SRI says the poll was conducted December 6-10 and included 822 registered NYS voters. Margin of error is +/- 4.

Comments

Not surprised. Many (myself included) tend to skim the stories and look away with disgust instead of partaking in due diligence and critical thinking.

We live in the information age; we just haven't figured out what to do with it yet. Too much and the brainwaves are overwhelmed, which cycles into "not caring" rather than admitting laziness. Solutions? Well, I suppose everyone has to figure that one out on their own.

That's just......wow.

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