Campaign '04

Space and polling

Anyone who still doubts that space is a relatively unimportant topic in Presidential politics should read this Philadelphia Inquirer article that follows a Gallup pollster, Jeffrey Jones, as he works on the latest poll questionnaire:

Jones and his colleagues wrote many good questions, but research has shown that people won’t stay on the phone more than 18 minutes to answer them.

Something had to go. Out went question 36, about whether NASA, the U.S. space agency, was doing an excellent, good, only fair or poor job. Replacing it was an open-ended question on campaign issues.

In any case, if Gallup was really interested in space policy and the Presidential election, there are any number of better questions they could have asked.

2 comments to Space and polling

  • Mark Zinthefer

    If nothing else, this underscores the unimportance of space in the election. It was a crappy question to start with and they replaced it with an even crappier question. I don’t think it should come as a shock to any of us that space exploration is a special interest at best.

  • A reminder here that Gallup did our space-related poll earlier this year, and the numbers were extremely positive.

    The headline: More than two-thirds of Americans support the exploration vision. Congress should be reminded of this at every opportunity.

    Full results and the raw data are posted at our Coalition for Space Exploration web site (

    Jim Banke
    Space Foundation