Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Alaska. Is that the Garden State?

I'm hoping Coloradans are smarter than this. A poll commissioned by the governor of Alaska showed that:

*** 1 in 8 Americans believes that state is a separate country or don't know it's a state.
*** More than half the nation thinks that most of Alaska is covered in ice and snow year-round.

We'll give you the out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing - only 14 percent of the people polled had ever been to the state to the north. On the positive side, nine out of 10 people said they had a positive impression of Alaska, citing its natural beauty and vast space.

Gov. Frank Murkowski commissioned the poll after two congressional debates last year that he feared had muddied Alaska's image: whether federal earmarks should go to build two so-called “Bridges to Nowhere” in the state and the failed effort to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.

Turns out the worries were unfounded. Just three out of 100 people polled had a negative perception of the state's residents.
Among the questions that stumped many of those polled:
+ How many people live there? (As many people guessed under 250,000 as did those who said it was up to two million.) Correct answer: 665,000.
+ Which do you choose - developing Alaska's energy resources or protecting the state's environment? (About two out of three chose the environment, but at the same time, more than half said ANWR should be opened for oil and gas exploration.)

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