Sunday, January 03, 2016
Are Republicans dumb and uneducated?
Man, it's weird dusting this thing off. I still don't have time for a blog, but the Presidential election cycle always gets me jazzed up and wanting to see what the data have to tell us about interesting questions, often political questions.
With the Trump phenomenon, the old "Republicans are stupid people" is back with a vengeance, but the politically correct twist I've heard more of lately is that they are "uneducated." So is that true?
The General Social Survey asked people who they voted for in 2012. Here's is the mean vocabulary score--a decent proxy for IQ--for the two groups:
Mean Vocabulary Score
Voted for Romney (n = 421): 6.45
Voted for Obama (n = 615): 6.23
Romney voters were slightly smarter than Obama voters. Now, let's look at mean education:
Mean Years of Education
Voted for Romney (n = 421) 14.45
Voted for Obama (n = 615) 14.23
Again, Romney voters are slightly more educated. It's pretty clear that Trump fans are more working-class than others planning to vote Republican, but liberals constantly make the mistake of thinking that "no more Muslims" is a sign that someone is dumb, when in fact it is a sign that a person happens to not be part of the crowd that is convinced that liberal ideas are a signal of intelligence and enlightenment, and therefore must be adopted. Liberals think these people are sheep, but as Noam Chomsky once said, no group is more sheepish than liberals.