Public-Interest Polling

ATI #32 Full Report

U.S. National Issues Survey

Master Questionnaire Results

October 30 – November 3, 1999, N=1000 Adults
Conducted by Market Strategies, Inc.
Southfield, Michigan
Frederick T. Steeper


Margin of error for full sample: +/- 3.1%
Margin of error for half samples: +/- 4.4%
Sample weighted to known census parameters
for gender and region in total and race within South/non-South

Q1. I’d like to ask, all things considered, how do you feel about computers? Have they made your life better, worse, OR in some ways better, in some worse, (INTERVIEWER, READ IF NECESSARY:) OR have they NOT affected you much one way or the other?*

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Better
50%
49%
78%
Worse
3
1
6
Some ways better, some worse
18
20
N/A
Not affected/No difference
28
29
40
Don’t know
1
1
2
Refused/NA
<1
<1
 

*August 1998 wording: "All things considered, would you say that computers have made your life better or worse?" "Not affected/No difference" was accepted as a volunteered code only.

Q2. As you may know, many computers in this country and around the world have to be fixed, reprogrammed, or replaced so they will operate properly when computers have to deal with calendar date changes in years beginning with two thousand. This has been called the Year two thousand problem, the millennium glitch, the millennium bug, or the Y2K (WHY TWO KAY) problem. How much have you heard about this problem? (READ CODES 1-4)

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Dec
1998*
Aug
1998
Nothing
1%
2%
8%
9%
Very little
8
6
13
16
Some
14
20
40
29
A lot
76
72
39
45
Don't know
<1
<1
 
<1
Refused
<1
 
 
<1

*Poll conducted for the NSF and USA Today by Gallup. Total of 1032 adults interviewed December 9-13, 1998.

Q3. (Asked of those saying they know "a lot.") Would you consider yourself an "expert" in this problem?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Yes
7%
6%
5%
No/Not Asked
93
94
95

Q5. How serious do you think the Y2K problem is going to turn out to be? We’ll use a one-to-five scale, where one means you think it will be a NOT-AT-ALL SERIOUS problem and five means you think it will be a EXTREMELY SERIOUS problem. You can use any number between one and five. The bigger the number, the more serious of a problem you think it will be.

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
1
26%
15%
10%
2
40
33
18
3
25
36
34
4
4
8
19
5
4
6
17
Average
2.2
2.6
3.2
Don't know/Refused
1
2
3

Let’s go into this a little more:

For each of the following, please tell me whether that is something you probably will or WILL NOT do in order to protect yourself against Y2K problems.

Rank-Ordered by Percent "Probably Will Do"

 
Probably
Will Do
Probably
Won't Do
DK/
Ref
Q10A. Obtain special confirmation or documentation of your bank balances, retirement funds, or other financial records.
 
 
 

November 1999

49%
50
1

April 1999

60%
37
3

December 1998

65%
33
2
Q10B. Avoid traveling on airplanes on or around January one, two thousand.
 
 
 

November 1999**

43%
40
1

April 1999

54%
41
5

December 1998

47%
50
3
QB10C. Withdraw some or all of your money from the bank.
 
 
 

November 1999

24%
75
1

April 1999

32%
65
2

December 1998***

31%
66
3
QA10C. Withdraw all your money from the bank.
 
 
 

November 1999

10%
89
1

April 1999

12%
84
4

December 1998

16%
82
2

* Poll conducted for the NSF and USA Today Gallup. Total of 1032 adults interviewed December 9-13, 1998.
** "Don't travel on airplanes" allowed as a volunteered code in November; results shown as DK/Ref."
*** Gallup wording: "Withdraw and set aside a large amount of cash."

In the coming months, you will probably hear a lot more about Y2K. I am going to read a list of people and ask you to think about this: If you happened to see or hear that person discussing Y2K issues, how much would you be inclined to trust what he or she said about this issue? If you’ve never heard of a person, just let me know and we’ll move on to the next one. The [first/next] is: __________. How much would you trust ____________ on Y2K?

Rank-Ordered by Percent "A Lot" and "Some"

 
Lot/
Some
A Lot
Some
Hardly
None
Not
Heard
of
DK/
Ref
QA14. Bill Gates, head of Microsoft
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

83%
43%
40
11
3
2
1

April 1999

77%
35%
42
14
4
4
1

August 1998

80%
42%
38
14
2
4
1
QA15. A computer expert working for a large corporation with years of experience including programming many kinds of old computers-computers that worked fine for years but now have millennium bugs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

83%
38%
45
10
3
2
1

April 1999

86%
39%
48
9
4
1
1

August 1998

89%
51%
38
9
<1
<1
1
QB13. A computer expert working for a large corporation.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

83%
30%
53
11
4
1
1

August 1998

85%
36%
49
10
2
1
2
QB16. Your local bank manager
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

79%
32%
47
14
4
1
1

April 1999

72%
24%
47
20
6
1
1

August 1998

66%
17%
49
23
7
2
2
QB15. An expert in handling disasters
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

76%
21%
55
17
4
1
1

August 1998

63%
20%
44
28
7
1
1
QA13. A computer expert working for the federal government
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

72%
20%
52
20
7
<1
<1

August 1998

72%
22%
50
21
4
1
1
QB14. The leader of a multi-billion dollar financial services company
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

68%
16%
52
23
6
2
1

April 1999

64%
16%
48
25
8
2
2

August 1998

61%
16%
45
28
8
1
2
QA16. An expert in why people in a disaster sometimes cooperate and sometimes do not.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

67%
9%
58
24
6
1
3

August 1998

62%
12%
50
27
5
2
3
QA 12. Former astronaut and Senator, John Glenn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

63%
15%
48
25
8
2
1
QB12. Former President George Bush
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

62%
18%
44
29
7
<1
1

August 1998

61%
18%
42
29
8
1
2
QA12. Presidential candidate George W. Bush
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

55%
11%
44
32
9
1
3
QA11. Bill Clinton
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

49%
12%
37
32
18
<1
1

August 1998

54%
14%
39
33
11
1
1
QB11. Al Gore
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

46%
9%
37
34
15
2
2

April 1999

47%
10%
37
33
17
1
1

August 1998

49%
12%
37
36
10
2
2

If Y2K turns out to be a big disaster, who do you think should be held responsible for that disaster? I am going to read the names of some people and organizations. For each one, please tell me how much RESPONSIBILITY you think that person or organization would have for a Y2K disaster: A lot, some, or none? After each item, if respondent indicated that individual bore any responsibility at all they were asked two follow-up questions: "Should he/they be held accountable?*" and "Should he/they be held legally liable?*"

Rank-Ordered by Percent "A Lot" and "Some"

  Lot/
Some
A lot Some None Dep. DK/
Ref
Acctbl Liable
QB21. Computer companies that ignored the Y2K problem for years.**
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

91%
69%
22
7
1
1
76
60

April 1999

93%
71%
22
6
<1
<1
78
64

August 1998

94%
70%
24
5
1
1
79
61
QB21P. Computer companies***
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

91%
60%
31
7
1
1
70
51

August 1998

89%
54%
35
10
<1
1
66
44
QB19. Corporate leaders, who lobbied a bill through Congress and the Administration that limits liability for corporations if they fail to meet commitments because of unfixed Y2K problems.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

85%
44%
41
13
1
1
69
55
QA23P. The Federal Reserve Board, which oversees our banks.****
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

83%
50%
33
15
<1
1
66
52

August 1998

75%
38%
37
24
1
1
56
41
QA20. Leaders of large corpo-rations, banks, electric utilities, etc.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

82%
43%
39
16
1
1
61
47

April 1999

86%
47%
39
13
1
1
66
49

August 1998

77%
40%
37
21
1
1
59
42
QB24. Corporate leaders who con-ducted business as usual or focused on financial dealings, mergers and acquisitions instead of concentrating on solving our real problems.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

81%
39%
42
16
1
2
58
42
QB23. The SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, whose job is to hold corporations accountable to stockholders and the public. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

80%
40%
40
16
1
<1
61
43

April 1999

82%
38%
43
13
1
2
60
42

August 1998

75%
36%
39
22
1
3
54
36
QB20. The U.S. Congress
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

77%
31%
46
22
<1
1
53
33

April 1999

81%
40%
41
16
1
2
59
36

August 1998

67%
29%
38
32
<1
1
45
25
QA24. Political leaders who were more concerned with politics as usual than with solving problems that are important to everybody.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

73%
30%
43
25
1
1
47
26

April 1999

85%
45%
40
14
<1
1
61
49
QA22. The media which did not make the situation clear enough to viewers and readers.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

66%
24%
42
33
<1
2
34
19

August 1998

66%
25%
41
33
1
<1
39
18
QA23. John Koskinen, sometimes called the White House Y2K Czar, has been accused of being unduly optimistic. His Y2K preparedness recommendation for every house-hold is that you should have at least three days of supplies on hand, just as you would if you knew stores would be closed during a three day storm. How much responsibility would he have if Y2K turns out to be a disaster because a three day supply proved totally inadequate for millions of people?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

60%
27%
33
32
1
3
34
20
QA19. Bill Clinton
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

60%
28%
32
39
1
1
36
24

April 1999

69%
29%
39
29
<1
2
38
22

August 1998

59%
23%
36
39
1
35
17
QB22. Television, which focused on entertainment and ratings, rather than the real news.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

56%
22%
34
42
<1
2
31
20

August 1998

51%
20%
31
48
1
1
28
15
QB19P. Al Gore*****
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 1999

40%
12%
28
53
1
5
23
12

August 1998

34%
10%
23
61
1
4
18
10

* Interviewers were instructed to explain, if necessary, that "Accountable" means that the person or group must make a full disclosure of what they knew about the Y2K problem.   Respondents were told, after the first item in the series, that "Legally Liable" means "that there SHOULD be laws, including fines and imprisonment, to punish people who are guilty of causing the Y2K problem."
** QB21 was numbered as QA21 in previous studies.
*** QB21P was numbered QB21 in previous studies.
**** QA23P was numbered QA23 in previous studies.
***** QB19P was numbered QB19 in previous studies.

I’m going to read a few things that people can do that might help solve the Y2K problem. For each one, please tell me if you have ever done that activity. (IF HAVE DONE, ASK:) Would you consider doing something like that, or would you probably never do anything like that?

Rank-Ordered by Percent "Have Done"

 
Have
Done
Would
Consider
Never
Consider
DK/
Ref
Done/
Consider
QA29. Obtain emergency supplies, extra water, batteries, canned food or medical kits to deal with a disaster caused by Y2K.*          

November 1999

30%
39
30
1
69%

April 1999**

19%
39
39
3
58%

August 1998**

10%
39
46
4
49%
QA28. Ask a local bank manager, insurance carrier, mutual fund or financial advisor what steps they are taking to protect your assets and property.          

November 1999

29%
34
36
1
63%

April 1999

26%
46
25
3
72%

August 1998

13%
61
22
4
74%
QB28. Ask your electric utility or water company, if it can assure uninterrupted consumer service in the year two thousand.          

April 1999

10%
54
32
4
64%

August 1998

4%
59
33
4
63%
QA30A. Go to a meeting open to the public in your community with local officials and Y2K experts who will discuss what is being done or could be done to reduce the negative impact of Y2K on our lives and where everybody can hear the ideas of the public on Y2K mitigation.          

November 1999

8%
40
51
1
48%

April 1999

7%
59
33
2
66%
QB29. Purchase a home system offering self-reliant power supplies such as solar panels, cell phones, and two-way radios – to deal with a disaster caused by Y2K.          

April 1999

8%
29
59
4
37%

August 1998

8%
28
58
6
36%
QB30. Volunteer in your local community to join in or organize a Citizen’s Committee on Y2K to work with local officials and media.          

April 1999

2%
36
57
5
38%

August 1998

2%
37
57
4
39%

*QB19P was numbered QB19 in previous studies.
**August and April wording: "Purchase emergency supplies, generators, batteries, canned food, or medical kits to deal with a disaster caused by Y2K."

Thinking about what may happen in the year two thousand…

QA31. Do you think that at some point as the Y2K situation develops, many, some or very few people will react according to the old saying, "Every man for himself"?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Many
34%
39%
36%
Some
37
40
33
Very few
25
19
27
Depends (VOL)
28
29
40
Don’t know
3
1
2
Refused/NA
 
 
<1

QB32A. The National Guard has sometimes been used to assist in maintaining law and order and to help Americans in distress as a result of major national disasters. If you heard that the President was going to call up the National Guard in connection with Y2K, what would be your primary reaction.

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
The Guard would reassure people and help prevent an increase in crime.
59%
58%
The Guard is not prepared or trained enough, and might do more harm than good.
19
25
Widespread deployment of the Guard would infringe on our civil rights.
14
16
Depends (VOL)
3
2
Don’t know/Refused/NA
6
4

Because Y2K appears to many as a disaster in the making, people may come forward and make propositions about what can be done to make things better. I will read some of the propositions you might hear. For each one, please tell me if you agree or disagree with it? (IF AGREE/DISAGREE, ASK:) Would that be STRONGLY agree/disagree or just SOMEWHAT agree/disagree or just SOMEWHAT agree/disagree?

Rank-Ordered by Percent Strongly Agree

 
Str
Agree
Smwt
Agree
Neith/
DK
Smwt
Dis
Str
Dis
Collapsed
Agr
Disagr
QB38. Y2K induced outages, like electric power brown-outs, transportation failures, or other shortages probably will occur only regionally and for a few days at a time in ways that vary over different parts of the country. Since this is a lot like bad weather, radio and TV weather channels, including portable all-hazards weather radio, should be required to inform the public by immediately releasing government Y2K emergency updates.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

60%
26
2
6
4
86%
11

April 1999

66%
22
2
6
4
88%
10
QA33. The Securities and Exchange Commission and bank regulators, like the Federal Reserve Board, should require full disclosure to the public by all corporations and banks on their Y2K progress.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

59%
26
<1
7
7
85%
14

April 1999

66%
22
1
6
3
89%
10
QA37. Some arm of government, like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, should furnish regular Y2K Preparedness Updates that radio and TV channels must carry that give accurate news on the ability of government, businesses, hospitals and other institutions to deliver us needed goods and services and that will advise people on what we should do about Y2K.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

54%
30
2
7
7
84%
15

April 1999

55%
31
2
7
5
86%
12
QA35. We should reshape the laws governing our telecommunications industry to assure that our radio, television, the Internet, and all other mass media operate in the public interest and are required to inform the public fully about such issues as Y2K.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

52%
30
2
8
7
82%
15

April 1999

56%
29
2
8
6
84%
14

August 1998

54%
26
3
9
7
80%
17
QB33. Simpler, more decentralized back-up systems for production, accounting, and communications, should be maintained so that your community can retain more options and be more self-reliant.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

51%
36
1
5
6
87%
11

April 1999

52%
35
2
5
4
88%
10

August 1998

48%
41
3
6
2
89%
8
QA38. The modern world has become too dependent on computers and other complex technologies.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

48%
23
1
13
15
71%
28

April 1999

52%
21
<1
13
14
73%
27

August 1998

48%
25
2
12
14
72%
26
QA34. Companies which innovate computer technologies should prepare voluntary social impact assessments and publish them, so that the public can understand the tradeoffs in such new technologies before they become widespread and displace existing systems.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

45%
35
2
10
6
80%
16

April 1999

46%
40
2
8
4
86%
12

August 1998

45%
35
4
8
7
80%
16
QA36. The government should keep its hands off the technological revolution that is improving our standard of living in so many ways.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

30%
30
2
23
13
60%
36

April 1999

26%
28
4
25
17
54%
42

August 1998

29%
30
4
22
16
58%
38
QB37. The government should keep its hands off the technological revolution that is improving our standard of living in so many ways. That is much more beneficial and important to us than the cost of whatever damage Y2K may do.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

26%
28
2
23
17
55%
41

April 1999

24%
30
5
24
18
53%
42
QB34. The U.S. Office of Technology Assessment used to evaluate large-scale technological innovations for their social impact and release results to Congress and the public. This office was abolished in 1996, but the Y2K problem shows that this was a mistake. The office should be reinstated.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

24%
29
5
21
17
53%
38

April 1999

29%
32
8
15
15
61%
31

August 1998

28%
33
9
17
13
61%
29
QB36. We should beef up funding of Public Broadcasting and other educational TV and radio networks to provide more programming in the public interest supported by a tax on commercial broadcasting to be used only for this purpose.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

22%
28
2
20
27
51%
47

April 1999

29%
29
3
14
24
57%
39

August 1998

28%
30
4
18
21
58%
38
QB35. We can no longer only rely on private enterprises making profit-driven market decisions ABOUT technological innovations that change the basic fabric of our lives.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 1999

22%
32
3
23
18
54%
41

April 1999

28%
32
6
19
15
60%
34

August 1998

24%
39
4
18
16
63%
34

Now I’d like to ask just a few questions for statistical purposes…

[PARTYID] Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, an independent or what?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Republican
29%
30%
28%
Independent
27
27
32
Democrate
31
33
31
No preference
9
6
6
Other
2
2
2
DK/Refused
2
2

[LIBCON] On political issues, do you consider yourself a liberal, a conservative, or a moderate?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Conservative
32%
32%
31%
Moderate
43
41
44
Liberal
20
20
20
DK/Refused
6
7

[BIRTH] In what year were you born?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
18-24
13%
13%
13%
25-34
20
22
22
35-44
23
21
21
45-54
17
17
17
55-64
10
11
10
65+
16
16
16
Refused/NA
1
1

[EDOFR] What is the last grade of school you completed?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Grade school or less [Grade 1-8]
2%
2%
2%
Some high school [Grade 9-11]
6
6
6
Graduated high school [Grade 12]
31
31
30
Vocational school/Technical school
3
4
3
Some college-2 years or less
18
17
19
Some college-more than 2 years
10
10
9
Graduated college
18
20
20
Post-graduate degree
13
11
11
Refused/NA
<1
<1

[MARITAL] What is your present marital status? (ASK AS OPENEND)

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Single
28%
29%
27%
Married
57
55
54
Divorced
7
7
9
Separated
2
1
2
Widow/Widower
6
7
7
Don't know
1
1
<1
Refused/NA
 
 
<1 

[CHILD] Do you have any children? (IF YES, ASK:) Are any under 18 years old?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Yes, all under 18 years old
34%
28%
28%
Yes, but children all 18 or older
32
32
31
Yes, both types
7
6
7
No children
27
33
34
Don't know
<1
<1
<1
Refused/NA
 
 
<1 

[RELIGION] Is your religious background, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish or something else? (IF SOMETHING ELSE OR UNCLEAR IF CHRISTIAN, ASK:) Is that a Christian church?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Protestant
42%
43%
Roman Catholic
24
23
Jewish
1
2
Other Christian
17
19
Other non-Christian/Unspecified
6
5
Agnostic/Atheist
2
1
None
5
5
Don't know/Refused/NA
2
2

[FUND] (If non-Catholic Christian:) Would you describe yourself as a fundamentalist or evangelical Christian or neither one?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Yes/Fundamentalist
8%
7%
Yes/Evangelical
10
10

Yes/Both

1
2
No/Neither one
38
40
Don't know/Refused/NA
2
3
Not Asked
40
38

[INCOME] Which of the following income groups includes your TOTAL FAMILY INCOME in 1997 before taxes? (Just stop me when I read the correct category)

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Up to $10,000
5%
6%
6%
$10,000-$15,000 [14,999]
6
5
6
$15,000-$20,000 [19,999]
8
8
8
$20,000-$25,000 [24,999]
8
9
10
$25,000-$30,000 [29,999]
7
10
10
$30,000-$40,000 [39,999]
12
13
11
$40,000-$50,000 [49,999]
11
11
10
$50,000-$75,000 [74,999]
14
13
16
$75,000 and over
18
15
13
Don't know/Refused
11
10
10 

[INCOME50] Would you please tell me if your family income was under or over $50,000?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Under $50,000
3%
3%
3%
Over $50,000
2
1
1
Don’t know/Refused
6
6
6
Not asked
89
90
90

[RACE] Is your racial or ethnic heritage white, black, Hispanic or something else?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
White
74%
77%
76%
Black
12
12
12
Hispanic
5
3
6
Asian
1
1
1
American Indian
2
1
1
Other
3
4
3
Not ascertained
3
2
2

[SEX] Sex: (BY OBSERVATION)

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
Aug
1998
Male
48%
48%
47%
Female
52
52
53

[INTERNET] Do you ever go online to access the internet or World Wide Web, or to send and receive email?

 
Nov
1999
Apr
1999
YES
61%
54%
No
39
44
Don't know
<1
2

Social Status:

High Income
31%
Intelligentsia
10
Middle Class
25
Lower End
9
Blacks*
12
Jews*
1
Hispanics*
5
Other
7

High Income: Earn $50,000 or more per year
Intelligentsia: College degree, but earn less than $50,000 per year.
Middle Class: Some college and any income less than $50K; OR high school grad and income of $20K-$50K Lower end: Less than high school grad and less than $50K; OR high school grad and less than $20K.
Blacks: All blacks, regardless of education and income.
Jews: All Jewish respondents, regardless of education and income.
Hispanics: All Hispanic/Latino respondents, regardless of education and income.


*Blacks, Jews, and Hispanics are separate categories because polling experience demonstrates that their voting and poll response patterns may be significantly different from the population as a whole.


ATI #32
Demographic Breakouts

The pattern of who will prove to be right and who will prove wrong about the seriousness of Y2K is already fairly clear – provided that a consensus will form after the Y2K dust settles that Y2K proved to be either "not-at-all" serious (a "1") or, at the other end of the scale, "extremely" serious (a "5"). In the Table below we have the numerical averages of the responses to Q5 on the seriousness of Y2K by the different demographic groups of ATI #32 in the second column and the averages for these same ATI #32 groups where available six months earlier from ATI #31 data. The gross movement of all of the groups in the six month interval is about .4 downward on average, with small variations from that drop by each individual demographic group. If the post Y2K survey shows the public consensus is that Y2K was a "1" or "2" OR a "4" or "5" (i.e. at the extremes) data of this type will be used to define which people were right and which wrong (and in what time frame, i.e. from the first, from the second, or from the third survey on) about the seriousness of Y2K with much greater precision than in the table below and with the conclusions of a quantitative multiple classification analysis. As mentioned below, note here again that ideology is not a dominant variable (as the inside-the-beltway mentality would have it).

Q5 Expected Seriousness of Y2K
Trends in Average Ratings of Demographic and other Groups

Rank Ordered by ATI #32 Averages

Demographic and Other
ATI #32
ATI #31
African American
2.6
NA
women 18-39
2.4
2.8
Hispanic or Native American or Asian
NA
income under $25
2.8
Democrat
2.3
2.7
urban
2.6
ages 18-29
2.8
30-39
2.6
women over 40
2.6
women
2.7
high school or less
2.7
no Internet
2.7
 
 
 
Average of total sample
2.2
2.6
A sample average
B sample average
all not elsewhere in this table
 
 
 
conservative ideology 
2.1
2.5
liberal ideology
2.7
Independent (not Democrat or Republican)
2.6
American west
2.6
suburban
2.5
college graduate
2.4
computers make my life better
2.5
use Internet
2.5
men
2.5
over 65
2.6
White
NA
Fundamentalist/Evangelical
2.5
 
 
 
age 50-64
2.0
2.4
income over $50K
2.4
postgraduate education
2.4

Here is a plea to anyone appearing on a call-in public affairs TV show like C-Span that uses ideologically designated call-in lines, shown at the bottom of the screen. As soon as the camera turns on you, point to your navel and say, "What this shows is misleading."

You, of course, will appear to be pointing to the call-in numbers displayed at the bottom of the screen that give the conservative, moderate, and liberal call-in lines.

Why are they misleading?

Because, what C-Span and other such shows should know is what any poll watcher worth her salt knows, this fact of polling:

The departure from the whole sample response results of the various demographic break-out subgroups asked routinely in most surveys, i.e. age, education, income, residence (geographic location), sex, party affiliation, religion, and sometimes others are as likely to be significantly different as that of the ideology break-out, i.e. conservative, moderate, or liberal. Moreover, except for questions which directly affect one of these subgroups, the likely deviation will be small and about the same for each group. Which group is the furthest from the average of the sample of course depends on the specific question. Except again possibly inside the beltway, and within five feet of a live broadcast mike, for a random sample of all Americans IT IS NOT TRUE THAT IDEOLOGY IS THE DOMINANT OR GOVERNING FACTOR. (Note how it is sometimes one and sometimes another of the demographic groups which deviates most from the average on pp. 50-53 of ATI #31 Report, appendix 1 and 3.)

So to be fair, some days C-Span should show the call in phone lines by sex, or income, or education, or age, etc. They are each as significant as each other. I was once on C-span covering different events three days in a row. You could not get me back again. They are so convinced that "this is the way it is", it’s cloying.