Jan. 2, 1959: Long before Nate Silver launched 538, Paul Coates was skeptical of polls and to prove his point formed his own polling concern: the Los Angeles Survey Institute. His question: “Do you think the Mann Act deters or helps the cause of organized labor — and if you feel it deters, would you vote for its repeal?”
The Mann Act, of course, banned taking a woman across state lines for immoral purposes. Coates found that 12% of respondents realized the Mann Act involved “white slavery.” The rest? Oh dear.