Darth Vader has better approval rating than 2016 US presidential candidates
Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian
Thursday 24 July 2014 03.43 EDT
He may have overseen the destruction of the peaceful planet of Alderaan, but Darth Vader is still more popular than Hillary Clinton – and indeed all of the prospective candidates for the 2016 American presidential election.
FiveThirtyEight, the site run by esteemed statistician Nate Silver, polled nearly 1200 people as to the favourability of various Star Wars characters. The likes of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia triggered popularity that politicians can only dream of, with up to 93% of respondents approving of them, but Darth Vader managed an impressive 58% approval rating – thus proving that with enough statesmanlike authority and public-speaking skills, anyone can sway an electorate.
The Washington Post’s Wonkblog then crunched the numbers against the approval ratings of upcoming presidential candidates and other politicians, and it’s not particularly flattering reading. Barack Obama can take heart from the fact that at least he’s not as unpopular as Jar Jar Binks, but is outdone by Emperor Palpatine, a man determined to let the forces of evil govern entire galaxies. Hillary Clinton will be similarly disappointed to learn than her 19% approval rating puts her on a par with amoral bounty hunter Boba Fett – but then again she doesn’t have a cool jetpack.
Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates
By Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post
July 23, 2014
On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65. In fact, the last time congressional net favorability was above that was February 2005. Incidentally this was just before the release date of “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” which marked Jar Jar’s last appearance on the big screen.
None of the 2016 hopefuls is polling higher than Darth Vader. You’ll recall that Vader chopped off his son’s arm and blew up an entire planet, but evidently in the eyes of the American public these are minor sins compared to Benghazi, Bridgegate and Gov. Rick Perry’s hipster glasses. These numbers suggest that if “Star Wars” were real and Darth Vader decided to enter the 2016 presidential race, he’d be the immediate front-runner.
Meanwhile President Obama is polling just two favorability points below Emperor Palpatine, Lord of the Sith. Make of that what you will.
Remember, Emperor Palpatine is “the actual personification of evil in the galaxy.”
As for comparing the results of two polls about different subjects? Social researchers do it all the time. You need to have large enough samples and the sample universes must be comparable, but other than that statisticly relevant observations can be drawn to a reasonable degree of certitude. Just be careful that you don’t mistake correlation for causation. The reason Ice Cream consumption and Shark attacks are related is that they both increase in the Summer.