Fun with Numbers!

Freed of the burden of reporting on a presidential election, respected research firm Public Policy Polling has released the results of a poll on the most important subject of all: food. It’s called Americans Pick Ronald McDonald over Burger King for President, and it’s fascinating. Let’s see what we can learn!

1. Men are from Krispy Kreme; women are from Paris. One question asked respondents which breakfast food they’d pick: a donut, a bagel, or a croissant. 30% of women chose croissants, but only 19% of men did–they were distracted by the sugary frosting of donuts, the favorite of 37% of men but only 29% of women. Would you like to make broader assumptions about men’s preferences for frosted sugar bombs? Be my guest, but a butter croissant isn’t health food either.

2. All your beer stereotypes confirmed! Poll data doesn’t get easier to interpret than this:


I’d like to buy the ladies a Coke, and live in harmony

3. Liberal African-American ladies who lunch. The study found that women and Democrats are more likely to choose lunch as their favorite meal of the day, although admittedly not by that much. On the other hand, being black seriously enhances your passion for midday meals: only 11% of the general public picked lunch as their favorite meal, but that number leapt to 26% in the African-American community.

4. People have Chick-Fil-A figured out. The gay-hating evangelical-owned chain is cited as the “least favorite” chicken chain by 28% of Democrats but only 11% of Republicans; it’s the favorite of 48% of Republicans, but Democrats prefer KFC and Popeye’s.

5. Only 3% of people switch between regular soda and diet. Isn’t that kinda weird?

6. Republicans don’t like vegans, but they are more likely to be vegan. Get this: vegans have a 41% disapproval rating from Republicans (31% approve, 29% don’t care), but fully 10% of all Republicans surveyed are vegan. That’s against just 7% of Democrats and 3% of independents. In fact, two-thirds of all vegetarian Republicans go all out and opt for the vegan diet.

7. Nobody likes Church’s Chicken. The favorite of 5% of people, and least favorite of 20%. Interestingly, black people are much more likely to love it (12%) and even more likely to hate it (33%).

8. Parks and Recreation half-captures the American zeitgeist. The best sitcom on television has one character who’s spot-on and one who’s more of an anomaly. Ron Swanson lives: men overwhelmingly choose breakfast as their favorite meal, look down on vegetarians, and prefer alcohol to soda. On the other hand, Leslie Knope’s passion for waffles is something shared by African-Americans, me, and nobody else. Among the general public, asked their favorite breakfast foods, waffles somehow came in dead last. This despite the well-known fact that “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.”

Tragically, PPP didn’t think to test the approval rating of calzones.

9. So you think vegetarians are all rich white people. Surprise!


Must be the rice and beans? Or something?

I don’t know if it’s the product of a tiny sample of respondents, or what, but an insane 26% of Hispanics told PPP that they’re vegan, compared to 4% of white people. Gotta be the sample size, right? They only asked 500 people, but they do think the margin of error is just plus-minus 4%. If they’re right, the odds of fewer than 22% of Hispanics being vegan are the same as the odds that there are no white vegans in existence. Yeah, that seems weird.

10. Burger King is uncool. A plurality of respondents aged 18-29 singled it out as their least favorite, while it was the top choice of those 65+. Similarly, youngsters are much more likely to choose beer over Coca-Cola.

11. Everyone agrees: stupid questions are stupid. As you saw, the title of the poll was “Americans Pick Ronald McDonald over Burger King for President.” And while that’s technically true, the runaway winner–with 42% of the vote in a three-way race–was “Not sure,” which tells me nearly half of respondents thought the question was too stupid to live.

12. The western United States likes beer more than everybody else. Almost twice as much as Midwesterners, in fact. But that’s not surprising, since the western states have many of America’s best breweries.

13. Independent voters can’t decide on anything else, either. Click this image to expand it:


But if you don’t want to click to expand, here’s a summary: the independents voted “Not sure” on everything.

This is fascinating. Independents refuse to choose a political party, but they also refuse to choose everything else. They’re more likely to be unsure about Pepsi/Coke preferences, vegetarian people, the authenticity of Olive Garden, and their favorite fast food joints. They’re more likely to hate soda and liquor, and less likely to go vegetarian than Republicans. And literally all the people who couldn’t decide on a favorite soft drink were political independents.

To summarize: have we learned anything here? Probably not. Have we had fun? Probably yes! Aren’t pointless polls the best? Yes, yes they are.



Filed under Ill-Informed Opinion

4 responses to “Fun with Numbers!

  1. Patricia

    I’ve never been to Burger King so I probably would have selected “unsure” too

  2. Caitlin

    Seriously, what did waffles lose out to? Pancakes? That’s just shocking and a travesty.

  3. Caitlin, waffles lost out to both pancakes and French toast! I am disheartened.

  4. Marjorie

    …it’s because so few people have ever had really good waffles!!!

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