Sep
04
2007

Opinions on a stick: Fair-goers weigh in on science, health issues

Fair opinions: While having fun on rides and eating foods on a stick, Minnesotans also spent time at the State Fair weighing in on issues of science, health and safety.
Fair opinions: While having fun on rides and eating foods on a stick, Minnesotans also spent time at the State Fair weighing in on issues of science, health and safety.
I guess this qualifies me to officially be a “wonk,” but one of the things I love to do at the Minnesota State Fair is take the issues poll at the Minnesota State House of Representatives booth at the Education Building. Fair-goers this year weighed on their opinions on a number of issues that have been recent Science Buzz topics.

First the disclaimer, this poll is by no means scientific and the results are drawn from the responses of about 7,000 fair-goers. Even worse, based on what I’ve seen from past years, lawmakers rarely take these opinions into consideration when drafting legislation on the topics.

Here are Science Buzz worthy highlights from the poll:

• Should the fine for moving traffic violations be doubled if the driver is using a cell phone at the time of the infraction?
Yes -- 66.6%
No -- 25.7%
Undecided/No Opinion -- 7.6%

• Would you be willing to pay an extra 10 cents per gallon for gas if all the money goes toward state road and bridge improvements?
Yes -- 58.3%
No -- 33.5%
Undecided/No Opinion -- 8.2%

Interestingly, last year only 41% of poll responders said yes to the same question prior to the I-35W bridge collapse.

• Do you support legislation that would prohibit people from suing food manufacturers and vendors for weight gain as a result of consuming certain foods?
Yes -- 68.6%
No -- 24.3%
Undecided/No Opinion -- 7.1%

• Should the state allow for medical uses of marijuana?
Yes -- 58.0%
No -- 30.3%
Undecided/No Opinion -- 11.7%

• Should smoking be prohibited within 50 feet of an entrance to public buildings?
Yes -- 70.2%
No -- 24.7%
Undecided/No Opinion -- 5.1%

• Should grants be made to public school districts to provide locally-grown food as part of the school lunch program?
Yes -- 61.3%
No -- 26.6%
Undecided/No Opinion -- 12.1%

• And this just for fun: Invented in Faribault in 1926, should the Tilt-A-Whirl be designated the State Amusement Ride?
Yes -- 47.3%
No -- 21.5%
Undecided/No Opinion -- 31.2%

What do you think of these public opinions? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

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