Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates


(AP)

On Tuesday FiveThirtyEight released the results of a poll of Americans' opinions on the "Star Wars" universe. Not surprisingly, Jar Jar Binks is the most reviled character in the series. As Walt Hickey notes, the Gungan from Naboo posted lower favorability numbers than Emperor Palpatine, "the actual personification of evil in the galaxy."

On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65. In fact, the last time congressional net favorability was above that was February 2005. Incidentally this was just before the release date of "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," which marked Jar Jar's last appearance on the big screen.

But picking on Congress' unpopularity is a bit like beating a dead tauntaun. After all, the legislative branch has been less popular than lice, brussels sprouts and Nickelback for some time now. What if we compared the favorability of 2016 presidential hopefuls and other political leaders with that of "Star Wars" characters?

star-wars-fav

Hillary Clinton currently has the highest net favorability of any 2016 White House contender. But to put her 19 percent favorable rating in context, she's tied with Boba Fett, the bounty hunter who froze Harrison Ford in carbonite.

None of the 2016 hopefuls is polling higher than Darth Vader. You'll recall that Vader chopped off his son's arm and blew up an entire planet, but evidently in the eyes of the American public these are minor sins compared to Benghazi, Bridgegate and Gov. Rick Perry's hipster glasses. These numbers suggest that if "Star Wars" were real and Darth Vader decided to enter the 2016 presidential race, he'd be the immediate front-runner.

Meanwhile President Obama is polling just two favorability points below Emperor Palpatine, Lord of the Sith. Make of that what you will.

Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.
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