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Pot Vote Tops Sanity/Fear Rally

11/03/2010 6:53 PM

A lot more people were paying attention to the grass in California than the goings-on on the grassy expanse of National Mall, according to a new survey.More than half of the respondents to a Pew News Interest Index survey (52%) said they had not heard of the Jon Stewart/Steven Colbert rally on the mall Oct. 30. But at least that was a smaller percentage of know-nothings than for the Glen Beck rally (58%) according to the Pew survey back in August. The Stewart/Colbert rally was a reaction and/or response to the Beck gathering.It turns out far more people were aware of the possibility of smoking marijuana with impugnity in California –a ballot proposal to legalize its use that ultimately failed–than knew of the Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

According to the index, 75% knew at least something about the ballot proposal (combining the knew “a lot” and “a little” answers) , while only 47% knew at least something about the rally according to that same combined measure.

Using those combined percentages, the pot story led in news awareness at 75%, followed by coverage of anonymous campaign spending in the run-up to the midterm election (60%); concerns about voter fraud and suppression (54%); and the rally at 47%.

The survey was conducted among 1,003 adults 18-plus Oct. 28-Nov.1. That should have captured the college crowd that appeared attuned to the rally, at least according to anecdotal reports of road trips from various schools. But it would not have included the high school kids who were also very much in evidence at the gathering on the Mall.

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