More on the poll
"Do you believe that evolution and ‘intelligent design’ are competing scientific theories?"And I'd just change that to "Do you believe that evolution and 'intelligent design' are mutually exclusive?" I think that gets at the same issue without asking people two separate questions: whether ID is scientific and whether it competes with evolution.
j.d. keeps up the sage commentary by writing:
Another thing that would be interesting is the following: I’d like to see this same poll repeated in two months time, with the same respondents and questions, with one exception — the addition to question #1 of the issue “same-sex marriage”.Question 1 asked which issue people thought was most important, and education, health care, and immigration. I find the latter as unimportant as gay marriage, while j.d. agrees it's important, so I guess that says something, but I couldn't say what.
I agree that adding a couple genuinely wingnut issues into the mix would spice up the question. Ask about gay marriage and I think the inimitably wise j.d. would be proven correct: no one gives a crap. I expect that if you asked whether banning stem cell research was important, that'd poll atrociously as well.
I happen to think that the kerfuffle over immigration is just another such issue meant to inflame passions among a group of people whose faith in the Republican party was wavering. The anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-science gang has no where to go. If they sit the election out, that's one vote lost. But immigration draws from something more like the Ross Perot crowd, people who are more likely to jump the fence, costing Republicans two votes per person (one less for the R, one more for the D).
Maybe I'm wrong, and my apathy is a sign of some hideous malaise, but I don't think so. Illegal immigration doesn't seem to be doing me or anyone else any particular harm, and neither would pledges trothed between gays and lesbians, cures derived from embryonic stem cells, or abortions performed under a doctor's care. So I chose not to get worked up about any of them. Underfunded schools and lack of healthcare access do hurt people, so I do get worked up about them.