Polls and the value thereof

Some people have gotten very excited about the fact that Newsweek is reporting that the Magic Negro has a 15-point lead over John McInsane, but they would do well to keep in mind the near-complete unreliability of believing people’s actions are accurately predicted by what they say they’ll do:

According to research conducted by the US Department of Energy and General Motors, nearly nine out of 10 women (88 per cent) say they’d rather chat up someone who owns the latest fuel-efficient car versus the latest sports car. It gets worse. Eighty per cent of American car buyers would find someone with the latest fuel-efficient car more interesting to talk to at a party than someone with the latest sports car. And, more than 4 out of 10 (45 per cent) 18- to 43-year-olds say it’s a fashion faux pas nowadays to have a car that’s not green or environmentally friendly.

Speaking as a man who has owned several sports cars and is good friends with the CEO of the local Porsche/Audi/VW operation, either I have lived the most statistically anomalous life in the history of statistics or women are lying through their whitened little teeth about their preferences. I’m not saying there isn’t a single woman on the planet who would rather date a man with a Prius than a Porsche or an Aston, only that the number is probably right around one percent. Maybe two percent in Oregon.

So, perhaps there’s hope for Australia. But probably not.