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Gallup Poll Quiz

The Gallup Poll: 65 Years of Polling History

1. What was the topic of the first Gallup Poll question asked in 1935?

2. Who was the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in October 1987? November 1975? November 1971?

3. What was the number one problem facing the nation in 1951? 1964? 1984? 1993?

4. What percent of Americans approved of women wearing slacks in public in 1948? In 1951, what percent approved of women wearing shorts on the street in hot weather?

5. What woman has appeared on Gallup's Most Admired list more than any other since 1948? What woman has the highest average ranking across each of her appearances?

6. What man has appeared on Gallup's Most Admired list more than any other since 1948? What man has the highest average ranking across each of his appearances?

7. How many Americans are total teetotalers and never drink alcohol? How has this changed over time?

8. What percent of Americans would vote for a Mormon for president?

9. What percent of Americans believe that premarital sex is wrong? What percent of 18-29 year olds believe that premarital sex is wrong? 65 and older?

10. Would Americans rather have a girl or a boy if they were to have a new child? Has this changed over the past 50 years? What do Americans say is the ideal number of children?

11. What college or university do Americans say is the best in the United States? How does this vary by region?

12. What president got the lowest Gallup job approval rating of all time? When? Who was second? When?

13. What president got the highest Gallup job approval rating of all time? When? Who was second? When?

14. How many Americans believe that John F. Kennedy had extramarital affairs while in the White House?

15. In what year since 1944 did Gallup record the highest percentage of Americans who smoked cigarettes? What percent of Americans 65 and older smoke cigarettes?

16. What percent of Americans said that they would vote for a qualified woman for president in 1937? Today?

17. Which branch of the Armed Forces do Americans think should get the most money? Has this changed since the 1950s?

18. In 1965, what percent of Americans thought that the following would happen within 20 years --- by 1985? A cure for cancer? "Many" women would be wearing topless bathing suits on the beach?

19. In what year since 1953 has support for the death penalty for murder been lowest? In what year has it been highest?

20. What city do Americans consider to be most beautiful? To have the worst climate? To have the ugliest setting? To have the best food? To have the friendliest people? To have the rudest people?

ANSWERS

1. What was the topic of the first Gallup Poll question asked in 1935?

Gallup's very first question was "Do you think expenditures by the Government for relief and recovery are too little, too great, or just about right?" asked on September 10-15, 1935. Only 9% said expenditures were too little, while 60% said they were too great and 31% said that the expenditures were about right.

2. Who was the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in October 1987? November 1975? November 1971?

In an October, 1987 Gallup Poll, Jesse Jackson was the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination with 22% of the Democratic vote. Michael Dukakis (the eventual nominee) was second with 14%. In November of 1971 Senator Edward Kennedy was leading all other Democrats for the presidential nomination. The eventual nominee, George McGovern, was fourth, with only 6% of the vote. In a November, 1975 Gallup Poll, former vice president Hubert Humphrey was at the top of the list among Democrats; the eventual nominee, Jimmy Carter, received less than 5% of the vote.

3. What was the number one problem facing the nation in 1951? 1964? 1984? 1993?

In 1951, with attention turned toward Korea, Americans cited war as the country's most important problem. The civil rights movement in the 1960's moved the public to cite race relations as the most important problem facing America in 1964. In 1984, Americans said they were most concerned with unemployment as a problem for the country. Americans said that health care was the number one problem for the country in 1993.

4. What percent of Americans approved of women wearing slacks in public in 1948? In 1951, what percent approved of women wearing shorts on the street in hot weather?

Only 34% of the public approved of women wearing slacks in public in 1948. In 1951, just 21% of Americans approved of women wearing shorts on the street in hot weather.

5. What woman has appeared on Gallup's Most Admired list more than any other since 1948? What woman has the highest average ranking across each of her appearances?

Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on Gallup's Most Admired list 34 times, more than any other woman. Eleanor Roosevelt has the highest average rank (1.1) among all women appearing on the list throughout its history.

6. What man has appeared on Gallup's Most Admired list more than any other since 1948? What man has the highest average ranking across each of his appearances?

The Reverend Billy Graham has appeared on the list more than any other man -- 42 times. President Bill Clinton's average rank of 1.1 is the highest among all men appearing on the list in its history.

7. How many Americans are total teetotalers and never drink alcohol? How has this changed over time?

In 1999, 36% of the public claimed to be "total abstainers" from alcohol. This number has remained relatively stable over time since Gallup began asking the question in 1939. The high point for those saying they don't drink alcohol was 45%, in 1958.

8. What percent of Americans would vote for a Mormon for president?

In February of 1999, 79% of Americans said they would vote for a Mormon for President. This number has remained relatively unchanged from 1967, when 75% of the public said they would vote for a Mormon.

9. What percent of Americans believe that premarital sex is wrong? What percent of 18- to 29-year-olds believe that premarital sex is wrong? 65 and older?

Less than half -- 40% -- of Americans think premarital sex is wrong. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, only 29% think premarital sex is wrong. Conversely, 67% of Americans over age 65 think premarital sex is wrong.

10. Would Americans rather have a girl or a boy if they were to have a new child? Has this changed over the past 50 years? What do Americans say is the ideal number of children?

Boys are preferred by 41% of the public, compared to 29% who would like a girl as their next child. Twenty-five percent said that it does not matter. The responses to this question have been remarkably unchanged. A nearly identical 40% wanted a boy, while 27% wanted a girl and 27% did not have a preference in 1947, when Gallup first asked the question.

Almost half of the public, 48%, say that two is the ideal number of children, while 23% say that three children is the ideal number.

11. What college or university do Americans say is the best in the United States? How does this vary by region?

Americans rate Harvard as the best college or university in the country. Harvard remains the top choice for Americans regardless of region. Penn State finishes second to Harvard in the East, Texas A&M in the South, Notre Dame in the Midwest, and Stanford in the West.

12. What president got the lowest Gallup job approval rating of all time? When? Who was second? When?

President Truman received the lowest job approval rating in Gallup Poll history with 22% in 1952; Truman received two 23% ratings in 1951 and 1952. President Richard Nixon was the next lowest when he received a 24% approval rating in August 1974.

13. What president got the highest Gallup job approval rating of all time? When? Who was second? When?

President George Bush received an 89% approval rating in February 1991, the highest in history. President Harry Truman got an 87% approval rating in 1945, the second highest since Gallup began asking this question.

14. How many Americans believe that John F. Kennedy had extramarital affairs while in the White House?

The majority of Americans -- 85% -- believe that John F. Kennedy had extramarital affairs while he was president.

15. In what year since 1944 did Gallup record the highest percentage of Americans who smoked cigarettes? What percent of Americans 65 and older smoke cigarettes?

In 1954, 45% of adult Americans said that they smoked cigarettes, the highest number recorded. Currently, 23% of all 18+ adults smoke, but only 4% of Americans over age 65 say they smoke cigarettes.

16. What percent of Americans said that they would vote for a qualified woman for president in 1937? Today?

In 1937, just 33% of the public said they would vote for a qualified woman for president. This number has changed dramatically over the last 62 years; 92% of the public said they would vote for a qualified woman in 1999.

17. Which branch of the Armed Forces do Americans think should get the most money? Has this changed since the 1950s?

In 1998, when Gallup asked the public which branch of the "armed services should be built up," 43% said the Air Force, compared to 20% for the Army and 17% for the Navy. The Air Force received even more public support in 1952, when 55% of the public chose it in response to the same question,, while just 12% said the Army and 8% said the Navy.

18. In 1965, what percent of Americans thought that the following would happen within 20 years --- by 1985? A cure for cancer? "Many" women would be wearing topless bathing suits on the beach?

In 1965, 77% of Americans optimistically predicated that a cure for cancer would be found by 1985. Also looking toward the future from 1965, 31% of the public believed "many" women would be wearing topless bathing suits by 1985.

19. In what year since 1953 has support for the death penalty for murder been lowest? In what year has it been highest?

Support for the death penalty for murder reached an all-time low of 42% in 1966. Support for the death penalty reached an all-time high of 80% among Americans in 1994.

20. What city do Americans consider to be most beautiful? To have the worst climate? To have the ugliest setting? To have the best food? To have the friendliest people? To have the rudest people?

When Gallup asked about American cities in 1997, San Francisco was considered the most beautiful. The public also thought that Chicago had the worst climate, and that New York City had the ugliest setting. New York was given credit for having the best food among U.S. cities, while Atlanta was said to have the friendliest people.
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