I would guess that libertarians are the most intelligent political category, but let's look and see. I'll use two GSS questions to create categories. Participants were asked if they thought that marijuana should be illegal or illegal. They were also asked if the federal government spends too little, too much, or the right amount on improving education. There are six combinations possible. I label them as follows:
marijuana legal/spends too much = libertarian
marijuana illegal/spends too much = conservative
marijuana illegal/spends right amount = traditional moderate
marijuana legal/spends right amount = permissive moderate
marijuana illegal/doesn't spend enough = traditional liberal
marijuana legal/doesn't spend enough = permissive liberal
First, let's list the percent of the total white sample in each category (sample size = 2,440):
Traditional Moderate 17.3
Permissive Moderate 5.4
Traditional Liberal 47.2
Permissive Liberal 23.8
The most popular category, by far, is of people who favor more federal spending on education, but who are against legalization of pot. Libertarians and conservatives, as I have defined them, are rare. Now let's look at mean IQs:
Mean IQs--whites only
Traditional Moderate 98.6*
Permissive Moderate 99.3
Traditional Liberal 100.3*
Permissive Liberal 103.0
* significantly lower mean IQ than permissive liberal
I guessed wrong: permissive liberals have a slightly higher mean than libertarians (although the difference is not statistically significant). People with extreme positions tend to be smarter.
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