Like probably most of you, I do not like getting calls from telemarketers at any time, especially near the end of dinner. However, there are two random callers that I do like to get called by -- political pollsters, and the Nielsen rating agency.
(I've never been one of the Nielsen raters with the device that automatically measures what you watch, but I have twice been asked to keep a written journal of what I watched for a week. It should be obvious why I'd instantly agree to help Nielsen -- can you imagine what primetime TV would look like if there were more Nielsen viewers like me? There would be lots of reality TV, yes, but none of that Bachelor crap; lots of serialized action-adventure/mystery/thriller/sci-fi; and basically no sit-coms.)
Well, Nielsen did not call me yesterday, but Gallup did. Often you can figure out what the pollster is getting at from the questions, but this one was interesting. There were quite a few questions about how satisfied I was in my job, my health, etc. More questions about how many days in the past week that I ate 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables, and how many days that I exercised at least 30 minutes (ha!). One question kind of stumped me -- whether health problems had kept me from doing what I wanted to do at any time in the past six months. There was the calf that I pulled during a 5K . . . and the bout of metatarsalgia in my right foot that I finally seem over . . . but both of those are running-related, so not seemingly within the spirit of the questions.
Then, there was a shift to questions about the direction of the economy, which you can imagine I had a field day answering. And finally, demographic questions. It was easy to answer that I belonged to neither party, but then when the pollster followed up with, do you lean toward one party or the other, I suggested that he could record it as lean Democrat on social issues, lean Republican on fiscal issues, but apparently the survey database wouldn't accept that, so I went with no leanings, which I suppose is true in a way, if you consider that my leanings cancel each other out.
Anyway, there you have it. I feel like my responses to a poll like this matter far more than my actual vote does, since the statistical sampling means that I am speaking for a larger number of people within the demographic category (ha ha, independent moderate -- the deciding group). I am a moderate, hear me roar!