Latest poll shows too many Americans aren’t very knowledgeable

There’s a lot to bite off in the latest Politico poll of Americans on subjects ranging from health care to immigration to the role of the free press in America.

Many of the answers to one question don’t quite square with the answers to a related question, a fine indication that Americans haven’t fully thought out a lot of the issues that have dominated the news for the last year.

That’s understandable and it’s fairly typical.

The more disturbing questions, however, are the ones involving name recognition and whether the name evokes a positive or negative reaction. Fine, that’s politics.

What is distressing, however, is the choice “never heard of” to those questions.

It’s hard to feel hopeful about an informed citizenry when:

  • 6 percent have never heard of Donald Trump (he’s the president)
  • 16 percent have never heard of Mike Pence (he’s the vice president)
  • 13 percent have never heard of Republicans in Congress
  • 13 percent have never heard of Democrats in Congress
  • 17 percent have never heard of Melania Trump
  • 19 percent have never heard of Ivanka Trump
  • 40 percent have never heard of Jared Kushner
  • 39 percent have never heard of Steve Bannon
  • 37 percent have never heard of Jeff Sessions
  • 49 percent have never heard of Robert Mueller

Much is being made of the fact that 46 percent of those surveyed believe that the news media is making up stories about President Trump, although it’s not clear if they’re the same people who’ve never heard of the president of the United States.

No lie, America, it’s Donald Trump.

In any case, the results suggest that the news media is wasting its time in coverage of politics in America.

Here’s the full poll.