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Conservative Pollster Says His Survey Backs Ann Landers’ on Cuddling

February 27, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Conservative Republicans apparently like sex as much as liberal Democrats and rich people seem to prefer the act more than the poor, a conservative pollster said in a survey released Wednesday.

Terry Dolan conducted his sex survey in reaction to a widely publicized poll by columnist Ann Landers, who said many of her readers preferred cuddling to the ″sex act.″

Dolan said his findings backed up Miss Landers’ conclusions, although many people refused to answer the question on whether they wanted cuddling or sex.

In Dolan’s survey, 36 percent of those questioned preferred being held closely, compared to 29 percent who wanted the act of sex.

At the same time, however, 35 percent said they didn’t know or refused to answer the question.

″The closeness of this question is secondary to the fact that fully 35 percent of those questioned told us that it was none of our damn business,″ Dolan said.

Dolan’s random telephone survey of 1,010 men and women was taken Feb. 12 through Feb. 14. He said the survey had an error rate of 3.5 percent.

Last month, Miss Landers released an unscientific survey of 90,000 readers who had responded to the question comparing cuddling to sex.

In the Landers report, 72 percent enjoyed cuddling while 28 percent wanted sex. The survey was voluntary, so there were no respondents who refused to answer.

Kathy Mitchell, Miss Landers’ executive assistant in Chicago, said her boss had not seen the Dolan survey. But she said the original report has generated enormous interest.

″It’s gone on since Jan. 14 and you’d think it would die down,″ said Miss Mitchell. ″Everyone has been doing their own polls.″

Dolan, founder of the ″The Dolan Report,″ a publication which addresses conservative political issues, said he decided to do the sex survey in the February edition because ″people are interested in it.″ The survey cost $35,000.

He insisted that ″the findings are serious,″ even though some of his comments were made in a joking vein.

For instance, Dolan said 43 percent of the women surveyed refused to answer the cuddling vs. sex question. ″These findings apparently give new meaning to the term, ’not tonight, I have a headache,‴ he said.

Among Dolan’s findings:

- Republicans and Democrats are almost equally divided in preferring cuddling to sex. The GOP figures are 37 percent to 29 percent, compared with the Democrats, 38 percent to 28 percent. Thirty-four percent refused to answer.

Independents, however, prefer sex to cuddling, 35 percent to 32 percent.

- Thirty-seven percent of both liberals and conservatives like cuddling, with 33 percent of the liberals opting for sex, compared with 26 percent of the conservatives. But 37 percent of the conservatives dodged the question, compared with 30 percent of the liberals.

- In the over $50,000 income group, 46 percent prefer sex to cuddling, while that figure is nearly reversed in the under $10,000 income group.

- Males want sex over cuddling by a 42 percent to 30 percent margin, while females prefer cuddling, 42 percent to 16 percent.

This, Dolan said, indicated that woman ″are more interested in personal relationships and men in sex.″

- Married people sought being held closely over sex by a 33 percent to 29 percent margin, while among singles the margin was 45 percent to 33 percent. Divorced people, however, were evenly split, 32 percent to 32 percent.

Before founding his conservative polling organization, Dolan was chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee.

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