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Friday, September 21, 2007

A week's worth of data, compiled from the last five editions of our daily email newsletter.

Prime Time
9-17-07-TV

Americans spend more of their leisure time watching television than doing any other activity. In an August 2007 Ipsos poll, Americans reported spending 17 hours per week, on average, watching the tube. But even with high use, Americans express pessimism about the quality of television programming. When asked whether television shows were “getting better or getting worse,” 62 percent said that they were getting worse.

Source: Associated Press/AOL/Ipsos Public Affairs, August 2007.

 

Ben Who?
9-18-07-Ben Bernanke
All eyes in the financial world will be on the Federal Reserve when it meets today to consider a change in its key interest rate. The general public, however, may not be watching as closely. In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, two-thirds of Americans reported not knowing the name of the Fed’s chairman, Ben Bernanke. Of the remainder, 11 percent expressed a positive opinion, 15 percent were neutral, and 7 percent expressed an unfavorable opinion.

Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal, September 2007.

 

An 'Impersonal' Subprime Crisis?

9-19-07-Sub prime crisis

Americans are keeping close watch on the subprime mortgage crisis, even if they aren’t worried about its effect on their personal finances. In a recent Gallup survey, 70 percent of respondents reported following the news about the home mortgage lending industry closely, including 28 percent who said they followed it “very closely.” Of those surveyed, seven in ten said that were somewhat or very worried that the industry’s problems would have a negative effect on the economy as a whole. When asked about personal finances, however, Americans were far less pessimistic. Just 35 percent said they were worried about the crisis' impact on their day-to-day finances.

Source: The Gallup Organization, August 2007.

 

Embracing 'Mr. Mom'?

9-20-07 Mr. Mom

Compared to twenty years ago, are men more likely to prefer the label “Mr. Mom”? Possibly yes, suggests a new poll by the Gallup Organization. When asked whether they would prefer to work outside the home or stay at home and take care of the house and family, 29 percent of men said that they would prefer to stay at home. When a similar question was asked by the New York Times in 1983, 21 percent of men expressed a preference for staying home. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that male labor force participation has declined from a high of 83 percent in 1960 to 75 percent in 2000, though largely because of earlier retirements.
Source: The Gallup Organization, August 2007.

 

 
In God We Trust

9-21-07 Support for an Atheist President

According to research at the Pew Research Center, the number of people who identify themselves as either deeply religious or purely secular is growing. Still, even with growth, the “pure seculars” remain a small minority within the American public. Indeed, a recent poll suggests that a majority of Americans would be hesitant to support a presidential candidate who did not believe in God. When asked how they generally felt about nine different types of candidates, majorities said it wouldn't matter to them if a candidate were a woman (72 percent), a black (84 percent), Hispanic (75 percent), a Mormon (66 percent), an evangelical Christian (60 percent), a Jew (79 percent) or a Catholic (79 percent). But just 34 percent said it wouldn't matter if a candidate did not believe in God.
Source: The Pew Research Center, August 2007.

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