In a recent study conducted by Washington-based Pew Research Center, over 1,500 people were asked to identify specific public figures in the news. Scott Keeter, director of survey research, said, "It was a way of asking people, 'What do you know about front page news?'" Respondents were also surveyed on their knowledge of current issues, including the war in Iraq, the trade deficit and wage hikes. Said the report, "Distinct patterns emerge when these results are analyzed. Education proves to be the single best predictor of knowledge. Older Americans, especially those 50 years old and over, answered more questions correctly than the younger set." Keeter also noted, "The most knowledgeable audiences by news source — those who knew their entertainers and their politicians — were regular viewers of 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report.'" In a recent speech to potential "TV Land" advertisers, former President Bill Clinton admitted his daughter, Chelsea, gets most of her news from "The Daily Show."


Percentage of respondents who can identify this key figure: 93

It appears 7 percent of respondents surveyed have been living under a rock for the past 25 years. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger first hit American soil in 1968 as a bodybuilder from Austria. He broke into the movie business with the hit "Conan the Barbarian" in 1982. Other box office smashes, like "Terminator," "Commando" and "True Lies," soon followed. Since he took office in 2003, the "Gover-nator" has been successful in "bringing California back from the brink of bankruptcy, reinvigorating the economy, creating a better environment for business and creating more than 680,000 new jobs," according to the State of California Web site.


Percentage: 93

The number of people who know Hillary seems to bode well for her presidential run — although only 73 percent of the total sample knew she was in the race. Clinton became senator from New York in January 2001 and has been working with Sen. Robert Byrd (D., W. Va.) on legislation to end authority for the war in Iraq. WWD reported Tuesday that the fashion industry is showing its support for Clinton, as are others. Millard Drexler, Oscar de la Renta, Paul Marciano, Maurice Marciano, Donna Karan and Ronald O. Perelman have all given dollars to her presidential campaign.CONDOLEEZZA RICE

Percentage: 65

Condoleezza Rice became Secretary of State on Jan. 26, 2005. That same year, she ranked number-one in Forbes' "The Most Powerful Women" issue. Prior to that, she had served as Bush's National Security Advisor since January 2001. Rice has served two other U.S. presidents, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. In addition to her allegiance to Washington, she has an impressive history in academia: She's been on the Stanford faculty as a professor of political science since 1981. Along with her own graduate and doctorate degrees, Rice has been awarded honorary doctorates, from Morehouse College, University of Alabama, University of Notre Dame, National Defense University, Mississippi College School of Law, University of Louisville and Michigan State University. She hails from Birmingham, Ala.


Percentage: 64

The singer, actress, dancer, designer and all-around talent is certainly in the media spotlight, but she garnered even more attention when she starred in the Golden Globe winner "Dreamgirls," which also featured Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson (who took home the Oscar for best supporting actress). Knowles is currently being heard on radios nationwide thanks to her collaboration with Shakira on the song "Beautiful Liar." Knowles and her mother, Tina, launched a fashion line, House of Deréon, in 2005. WWD reported in April the collection will enter major department stores this fall and the company will launch Deréon girls (in sizes ranging from 2 to 16) and infants for holiday 2007.


Percentage: 62

He finally won the big one this February when Manning led the Indianapolis Colts to victory in the Super Bowl. Manning was the MVP Award for the game. The Manning family is laden with famous athletes: younger brother Eli, quarterback for the New York Giants, and father Archie Manning, former quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. Manning signed a $98 million contract in March 2004 and became the highest-paid player in NFL history. He then had a record-setting 2004 season, throwing 49 touchdown passes. After the Super Bowl this year, Manning agreed to restructure his contract in order to save the team $8.2 million in salary cap space. Manning married his college girlfriend, Ashley Thompson, on March 17, 2001, and the couple earlier this week donned white tie and tiara for dinner at the White House with Queen Elizabeth II.BARACK OBAMA

Percentage: 61

WWD reported Tuesday the presidential hopeful has received campaign funding from fashion executives such as Tommy Hilfiger, Leonard A. Schlesinger, John Demsey and Seth Gerszberg, while Maurice Marciano threw in a contribution, showing an allegiance to both Obama and Clinton. Obama, an Illinois senator, talks about many issues, including improving America's school system, creating a health care system that works, planning energy independence, preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and stopping the genocide in Darfur. He was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961. After graduating from Columbia in 1983, he moved to Chicago and became a community organizer. Obama ultimately ended up back in Chicago following his graduation from Harvard Law School in 1991, to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law.


Percentage: 49

As the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi made history when she was sworn in on Jan. 4, making her the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. She was the House Minority Leader from 2002 to 2007. Pelosi has lobbied for educational opportunity and women's health care. Though her annual salary as speaker is $212,100, Pelosi needn't worry about money too much: Her husband, Paul Pelosi, is a successful financier and businessman in San Francisco. They have several real estate investments, including a St. Helena vineyard worth between $5 million and $25 million and a $1 million-plus home in Norden, Calif., according to the San Francisco Gate. Pelosi has five children and six grandchildren.


Percentage: 29

Proof that notoriety can land you on the list: Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff found himself in hot water in early March when he was convicted of lying to government officials who were investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Libby has been convicted on two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one of obstruction of justice — he will know more of his fate in June, when he is formally sentenced. Prior to this, Libby had served as Cheney's faithful adviser since 2001. During George H.W. Bush's presidency, Libby also worked alongside Cheney, who was Secretary of Defense at the time.ROBERT GATES

Percentage: 21

A native of Kansas, Robert Gates became the 22nd Secretary of Defense in December. "Bob Gates' lifetime of preparation will serve him well as the Secretary of Defense," President Bush said after Gates was sworn in. Gates joined the CIA in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional — he became the director of Central Intelligence in 1991. He also served as assistant to the president and deputy National Security Adviser at the White House from 1989 to 1991, for President George H.W. Bush. Most recently, however, Secretary Gates was the president of Texas A&M University.


Percentage: 15

The Nevada Democrat and Senate Majority Leader grew up in the shadows of Las Vegas in a small mining town known as Searchlight. According to the senator's Web site, Parade Magazine, the nation's largest weekly magazine (which, like WWD's parent, Condé Nast Publications, is owned by Advance Publications), identified Reid as one of a handful of leaders in Washington with "integrity and guts." Indeed, the senator has been outspoken against the President on several occasions — most recently on two hot button issues: spending in Iraq and on "Scooter" Libby's fate (Reid called on Bush to promise not to pardon Libby). Reid is the first Mormon to serve as Senate Majority Leader.

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