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You might encounter something spooky this Halloween.
A zombie? Nah, more frightening than that. Yep, a member of Congress.
Boo! It’s John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi at your door.
"[A] majority of voters actually prefer the blood-hungry creatures of The Walking Dead and Zombieland to the current Congress," state Rep. Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta, wrote in a press release. "One poll earlier this month found that a plurality of registered voters prefer real zombies over the pseudo variety haunting Washington today. (Even mother-in-laws and the DMV also outpolled Congress.)"
Lindsey even included a picture of one of the menacing creatures (to be clear, we’re talking about the zombies) in the press release.
Despite his disdain for Congress, Lindsey is one of several Republicans running for the 11th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district encompasses conservative-leaning communities to the north and west of Atlanta. The current officeholder, Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, is running for the U.S. Senate.
So who’s scarier? Creatures who have returned from the dead to wreak havoc on the world or the men and women in Washington who recently took more than two weeks to resolve a partial government shutdown?
PolitiFact Georgia thought it would be fun to find out whether Lindsey was using hyperbole in his quest to convince voters he is a less frightening option that the lot that’s currently in Congress.
"The Walking Dead" is a popular TV show that follows survivors of a plague that turns people into zombies. In the show's post-apocalypse Atlanta, the undead stagger through downtown and through the countryside hungry for human innards.
Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina-based firm, recently asked 502 registered voters by telephone a series of questions to determine how disliked is Congress. It was taken Oct. 4-6, a few days after the shutdown began. They asked the respondents "What do you have a higher opinion of: Congress or zombies?"
Forty-three percent of the respondents said zombies, 37 percent said Congress. Nineteen percent said they weren’t sure.
The poll had a 4 percent margin of error. The political party and racial breakdown of the respondents was pretty similar to that of other polls and U.S. Census data. Slightly more men than women answered the poll (53-47 percent), which differs from data that shows the majority of voters are women. There was no breakdown of how many respondents are zombies.
Congress was less popular than a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles, jury duty, toenail fungus and cockroaches. The congressional approval rating was 8 percent, which is nearly identical to most polling. Our political leaders in Washington did fare better than homegrown reality star Honey Boo Boo as well as controversial entertainers, such as Lindsey Lohan and Miley Cyrus.
This is no cause for celebratory twerking, Congress.
Lindsey said he based the claim on the PPP poll, although some of their polls has been said to favor left-leaning candidates.
"Based on my anecdotal conversations, if anything, I think the poll numbers may be higher (in favor of zombies)," Lindsey said.
We found no other polls on this topic.
PolitiFact Georgia had one more question. Why would Lindsey would want to work in a place where his colleagues are so widely despised?
"I’ve seen just about every zombie show and, so far, the humans win," Lindsey explained with a hearty laugh.
We have no reason to question the PPP’s accuracy on this topic.
We rate Lindsey’s statement True.
Press release by Ed Lindsey for Congress, Oct. 29, 2013.
Public Policy Polling press release on Congress poll, Oct. 8, 2013.
Telephone interview with Ed Lindsey, Oct. 29, 2013.
TownHall.com, "Washington's Zombie Infection," Oct. 29, 2013.
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