February 16, 2007

The National Poll of Quick Wit and Retort

An unintentional result of this survey of the American public's perceptions of nations may have provided hard data on percent of Americans who are waggish.

Thinking about the world for a moment -- What country in the world, if
any, represents the greatest danger to the United States?" (Open-ended. Multiple

Pew Research Center 2/7-11/07

Iran 25

Iraq 19

North Korea 17

China 14

Other Middle East 7

United States 5

Russia/Former Soviet Union 2

Japan 1

As an open-ended question, wit was both possible and permissable. The
answer "the United States" may not be literally true in that the question
clearly intends to seek which country is perceived as an enemy. However,
the response "the United States," is both witty and insightful - I am impressed
that 5% of the public produced this answer - outside of the margin of error.
This survey therefore puts the number of reasonably quick-witted, insightful
people at about 1 in 20. That seems about right.


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