3/9: Now, Why Didn’t I Think of That

By Dr. Lee M. Miringoff

I caught a piece in Sunday’s (3/6/11) New York Times about the Gallup Poll’s statistical profile of the happiest person in America.  Gallup has been collecting daily data on President Obama’s approval rating and much more, too.  (I doubt Obama is the happiest man in America, but being President is a good gig nonetheless).

miringoff-caricature-430Well, it turns out that the happiest person is tall, Asian-American, an observant Jew, over 65 years old, married, has children, lives in Hawaii, has his own business, and a six-figure income.  And, if you haven’t had your fill of kosher egg rolls yet, they actually discovered Alvin Wong who is a perfect match!  (The picture in The New York Times shows him with a broad smile.  What else?)

At the Marist Poll, we also enjoy the fun side of polling.  From our annual New Year’s resolution poll, to Americans’ picking their most annoying word or phrase… whatever… Our longest running gag poll strikes close to home.  For more than two decades, we have asked Americans whether they consider my age to be young, middle-aged, or old?  How better to find out what the nation thinks of my advancing age.

So far, so good.  People think someone born in 1951 is middle aged.  The cross tabs are even more positive especially among those who are 65 years of age or older.  How’s that for pollster spin!

But, May 3rd is just around the corner and so is the big 6-0.  I fear the numbers are likely to shift dramatically despite Alvin Wong’s happiness at 69.

In the meantime, hat’s off to my friends at Gallup for cushioning the blow.