Public Policy Polling is a new but fairly well-respected outfit that churns out an impressive quantity of high-quality snapshots of public opinion on political races and the important issues of our time.
But PPP doesn't let that stop them from putting out equally authoritative figures on the percentage of Americans who think Osama bin Laden is alive (6 percent); that the moon landing was faked (7 percent); and that a "secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order (28 percent).
It's in the same attention-generating spirit that the organization today released the results of a national poll revealing how favorably respondents feel about a selection of the country's major cities.
The numbers are of greater utility than, say, those showing that 13 percent of voters think Obama is the anti-Christ, since public perception reflects to some degree a city's vitality and ability to attract new blood. Mainly, though, it's a chance to see how one's home looks reflected in the mirror of public opinion and marvel at how much white people love the Pacific Northwest, how much black people love Atlanta, and how just about everyone hates Detroit.
And Dallas? The reaction can probably best be described as a slightly encouraging shrug. The city didn't do poorly. More than twice as many of those polled describe their opinion of the city as "Favorable" (48 percent) than "Unfavorable" (21 percent), while the other 31 percent are "Not Sure." But it ranks well below America's favorite city, Seattle (57 percent), as well as Boston, Atlanta, Portland and Phoenix.
Drilling down into the data, we find that Dallas is just about equally popular across age and ethnic groups, with the elderly finding the city slightly more appealing. The starkest difference arises when one considers politics.
Republicans (61 percent favorable) think much more highly of Dallas than do Democrats (42 percent). That tracks pretty closely with the breakdown by 2008 presidential candidate, with 58 percent of McCain voters considering Dallas good compared with 40 percent of Obama voters.
We probably didn't need a poll to figure any of that out, but now we have hard numbers. That way we can tell exactly how high public opinion skyrockets once we finish that second Calatrava.