Wednesday Open Line

The past few decades have seen ever more frequent public opinion polls, whether from the traditional Gallup and Harris firms, to those commissioned by newspapers or political campaigns. The first such poll in U.S. history appeared this month in 1824 in the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian, finding that Andrew Jackson was favored over John Quincy Adams in the four-man presidential race. But most favored “none of the above,” as that contest recorded the lowest participation rate in our history–under 27 percent. Although Jackson won the most popular and electoral college votes, he had a majority in neither, and the House of Representatives then elected Adams president. In 2012, nearly 133 million voters — 62 percent of those eligible — went to the polls to cast presidential ballots. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <>.