The $15 billion U.S. Census is near completion with a response rate unchanged from a decade ago, defying concerns it might be derailed by anti-government sentiment and widespread violence against census takers.
Conservative figures like television commentator Glenn Beck and Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann had urged Americans to provide only minimal information on the census form.
That sparked fears that Obama administration critics such as supporters of the limited-government Tea Party movement would hinder the once-in-a-decade project.
But now that the counting is nearly done, government officials and political analysts say there is no sign that the political climate had much impact on the census.
The mail-in response rate for the 10-question census was unchanged at 72 percent from 2000, bucking a national trend showing declining participation in surveys of any kind. And despite technical challenges, it is on schedule and under budget.
“This proves that Americans still have common sense,” said political analyst Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “You’re only hurting your own localities when you don’t fill in your form.”
I’m convinced American have some common sense – once in a while.
We’re truly conditioned to be led around by the nose by the superimposition of advertising on every aspect of life – for decades. There’s probably a gene for beer commercials, by now.
You have to hope that most people will just raise their eyebrows and lower the volume when they see the looneybird brigade on television.