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Science Has Determined the Best Beatle

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Some surveys gauge product viability and pricing. Others research political views. And still others seek to settle longstanding cultural disputes.

Since the Baby Boomers first frantically screamed over the Beatles, generations of Americans have battled over who is the best Beatle. Friendships have been ruptured and judgments have been dished out over the topic. It's fraught.

The Fab Four stormed the stage of the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago this week. To celebrate the anniversary, this Sunday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m., CBS (CBS) will air "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America -- A Grammy Salute." Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and a slew of musicians will perform in the show. 

In short, it's a good time to revisit the controversy.

Now, thanks to a nationwide survey conducted for TheStreet by GfK, and after years of angry argument, we now know who is the most loved Beatle.

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The results are statistically significant to within 5%. In other words, Paul has been scientifically shown to be the most favorite Beatle -- at least here in the U.S.

TheStreet commissioned GfK's Omnitel to survey more than 1,000 Americans about their feelings about the lads from Liverpool. (Yes, TheStreet is mainly a serious newspaper about business and finance, but sometimes Beatlemania becomes too much to resist.)

The final numbers are:

  • Paul: 26%
  • John: 22%
  • Ringo: 15%
  • George: 7%
  • No preference: 30%

The real question is -- how do 30% have no opinion?

We want to invite readers of TheStreet to vote on which Beatle is the best.  It won't be a scientifically produced survey, but it will be open to all. 

Who is your favorite Beatle?

TheStreet's survey methodology: Omnitel is a weekly national telephone omnibus service from GfK, a division of GfK Custom Research North America. The sample for this Omnitel wave consists of 1,000 total completed interviews, of which approximately 750 consist of landline telephone exchanges and about 250 are made up of cell phone exchanges. Interviews were conducted from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2014. The margin of error on weighted data is + 3 percentage points for the full sample.

For more on TheStreet's Beatlemania, see:

Nora Morrison is a researcher, writer and editor on music, popular culture, and business topics. She is an associate editor at TheStreet, and is on Twitter at No Ticker .

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