Another sign that atheists have arrived

On Monday evening, I got a phone call at home. It was a recording from the Rasmussen polling company conducting a survey. Usually, I just hang up but I was doing nothing important and so decided to participate. It asked me a lot of questions about whether I felt the country was on the right track and about president Obama’s performance. It also asked detailed questions about the economy and the immigration issue of children crossing the border. For each question, I was given a set of options to respond corresponding to a number that you enter on the phone.

I found that the way the questions were framed gave off a vaguely conservative vibe, as if designed to nudge the response results in that direction. But what I found interesting were the usual demographic questions at the end where they ask for age, party affiliation, ideology, education level, income range etc. When it came to religion, it gave six options: Evangelical Christian, Christian, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Atheist, and other. I thought that it was significant that atheists were now separately identified as a single major category. I suspect that even just a decade or so ago, we would have been dumped into the catch all ‘other’ category.

It looks like we have arrived.


  1. jamessweet says

    I was wondering about your observation that the questions seemed slanted conservative… I guess Rassmussen does contract out to do push-polling, so maybe it was indeed that. OTOH, it may just be that the American center is far enough to the right that for a hippie commie pinko like yourself (I kid, of course), the questions just seem slanted. Hard to say.

  2. moarscienceplz says

    Rasmussen is well known to skew conservative in its polling.

    I don’t know if they do push polling, but their 2012 Presidential prediction was pretty bad. They listed 8 states with a total of 95 electoral votes in the “tossup” category. Every single one went to Obama.

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