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A Valentine's Day poll without Sarah Palin

In a telephone poll that had nothing to do with conservatives' favorite sweetheart, Sarah Palin, Rasmussen Reports reports that one of the year's more important holidays in terms of domestic politics is dreaded by a substantial minority.

Sarah Palin

Valentine's Day was established by Pope Gelasius in 496. It's probably named for several early Christian martyrs but thanks to Hallmark and others has in modern times taken on a special meaning associated more with Cupid and his victims.

According to Rasmussen, 36% of Americans look forward to Feb. 14, 20% dread the day and 43% don't give a fig leaf about it.

You probably think you know which gender dreads Valentine's Day the most. Or, more accurately, dreads forgetting it.

But you're wrong. Rasmussen found that more men look forward to the day than do women, perhaps because the commercialized occasion makes it OK to safely express their affection. Or maybe they just like to mooch the soft chocolate they allegedly bought for their partner.

The survey found that only 5% of Americans see Valentine's Day as one of the year's most important holidays, a statistic that perhaps coincides with those employed by the confection and greeting card industries.

BTW, Palin and husband Todd were apart on Valentine's Day, she working the Daytona 500 NASCAR crowd in Florida, he back in Alaska preparing for the Iron Dog snow-machine race.

Christmas and July 4th remain atop the list of most important holidays in the minds of Americans. But fully 51% see Valentine's Day as right down there with St. Patrick's Day as the two least important holidays.

Still, 67% of Americans planned to mark the lover's holiday by dining with a special someone.

Now, about tomorrow -- Mardi Gras!

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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