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Friday, November 2, 2007

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

11-1-07- Exporting democracy

Exporting Democracy
Americans are reluctant internationalists. While most agree that the United States has a global role to play, they are cranky about the costs. They also are increasingly skeptical that democracy can be exported. According to Public Agenda’s latest index, just 22 percent believe the United States can help other countries become democracies, down from 38 percent who gave that response in 2005. Decline was especially marked among Republicans. Still, when asked about the importance of “actively creating democracies in other countries,” 67 percent of all participants said it was "very" or "somewhat" important to American foreign policy.
Source: Public Agenda, September 2007.

NUMBERS IIAmerican Haunts

According to a recent Associated Press/Ipsos poll, a third of Americans (34 percent) believe in ghosts—the same proportion that believe in UFOs. Only 19 percent say that they believe in witches or spells. When asked in the same poll whether they had every “been awakened from sleep with the sense of a strange person in the room,” 23 percent said they had. Another 23 percent said they had seen or "believed themselves to have been in the presence of" a ghost. Source: Associated Press/Ipsos Public Affairs, October 2007.



In a recent ABC News/"Good Morning America" poll on immigration, a solid majority of Americans said that they "often" come in contact with people in this country who mostly speak Spanish, and another 23 percent said this "sometimes" happens. When these people were asked whether it bothered them or not, a third said it did. Source: ABC News/"Good Morning America," September 2007.




NUMBERSMore Crime in My Neighborhood?

Gallup recently asked people whether there was more or less crime in their neighborhood compared to one year ago. A bare majority (51 percent) responded “more,” while 29 percent said “less,” and 17 percent said it was about the same. These responses have varied considerably since Gallup first asked the question in 1972. Americans are more pessimistic now about the national situation than they are about the local one, a trend commonly observed in polling. Seventy-one percent in the new poll said that they thought there was more crime in the U.S. compared to one year ago. When asked what they do to protect themselves, the largest percentage (48 percent) said they avoid going to certain places. Fourteen percent carry mace or pepper spray, 12 percent a knife, and 12 percent a gun. Source: The Gallup Organization, October 2007.


11-2-07-Do Not CallA Government Success Story?

That’s what the data collected by Harris Interactive tell us about the government’s “Do Not Call” registry. The pollsters report that 86 percent of adults are aware of the Federal Trade Commission’s registry, and nearly three quarters (72 percent) have signed up. (As of  September 2003, only 32 percent had signed up).  It appears to be working. Only 7 percent say they receive “about as many” or “more” telemarketing phone calls than they did prior to signing up. In related news, a coalition of consumer groups has suggested a “Do Not Track” registry that would allow people to prevent companies from tracking the websites they visit. Source: Harris Interactive, October 2007.

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