Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Poll power

Polls are a funny thing. We love to decry them as useless and way off the mark, and yet we still love to vote in them. Well, I do, at least.

Most, though not all, newspapers now offer online polls at their Web sites, and the Stowe Reporter isn't any different. As the dude who - most of the time - thinks up the poll question each week after a deluge of deadline writing, I find it interesting to watch for what kinds of questions people yawn at, and which ones they scramble for. Sometimes I'm surprised.

Case in point: We had over a 300-percent increase in poll participation from last week's question to this week's. The difference? The latter asked people how many yard sales they've been to lately, and the former whether they thought the school board should reconsider its controversial decision to replace French with Chinese. OK, maybe we didn't need to poll to tell which is the hot topic. In Stowe, lately, it's been all Chinese, and there aren't any signs the debate will let up. It's as hot as community issues get.

In that spirit, I just posted this week's poll question: If the election were held now, whom would you vote for in the race for Stowe’s seat in the Vermont House of Representatives? Hmmmm... polling a full 4.5 months before the general election? If it gets another 150 people clicking, why not?

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