In terms of irritating, incompetent creatures who get in the way of everything we want to see, most Americans overwhelmingly prefer Jar Jar Binks to the United States Congress. That’s according to a chart put together by the Washington Post, which combined favorability ratings for political figures taken from a Gallup Poll, and a recent survey FiveThirtyEight conducted on the Star Wars films. There were some surprises: People claim to like Padme more than Boba Fett, and Anakin Skywalker more than Darth Vader; and at least one percent of respondents who said they’ve watched a Star Wars film and live on planet Earth were “unfamiliar” with Luke Skywalker. Not so surprising was that people greatly prefer their annoying, attention-seeking behaviors and disastrous Senate votes to come from computer-generated jerks, rather than electorate-generated ones.
As you can see in the below chart, in fact, pretty much any Star Wars character you can name is more popular than our government officials, with Congress bottoming out at a -65 favorability rating. And with a mere -8 rating, Jar Jar is ranked far out ahead of many of our most powerful leaders, including John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and even Mitch McConnell, whose brave leadership in the Battle of Endor apparently wasn’t enough to raise his standings. (Most Americans agree McConnell was smart to recognize it was a trap, but he shouldn’t have called for that tactical retreat. It just made him look cowardly.)
On the other hand, should Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, or Rick Santorum choose to enter the 2016 presidential race, they already have a slogan: “Slightly More Popular Than Jar Jar Binks.” And yet, they’d all face stiff competition from Hillary Clinton, who’s tied with Boba Fett as the nostalgically beloved character most people think they want to see more of. That’s to say nothing of Darth Vader, whose tendency to wreak global destruction in the selfish pursuit of power and petty personal revenge is exactly the kind of take-charge attitude real America likes in its leaders.
Meanwhile, current President Barack Obama ranks below Emperor Palpatine, which is no doubt making certain bloggers very excited.