Expanding beyond the News IQ quizzes it periodically conducts, Pew Research recently released the results of what the organization calls the Political News IQ Quiz, which you can take here. I answered them all correctly, as I suspect the majority of readers of this blog and others like it will also do.
Political news IQ
Yup. The quiz is 13 questions long, and it’s super easy. I’ll reference the simplicity of it below.
Yet only 8% of the population fared as well, a reminder that the overwhelming majority of the American public is unaware of the basic layout of the political landscape, let alone plugged into the minutiae of committee memberships, legislative action, or how relevant Lochner v. New York is in the Supreme Court’s consideration of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
Some points of interest from the results:
– Men fared better than women on every single question asked. Ho-hum[…]
– On most items, age and political knowledge increase together. There are a few exceptions, though. […]
– As Republicans have higher average IQs than Democrats do, and Democrats have higher average IQs than independents do, it isn’t surprising that Republicans fared best, answering an average of 12.6 of the 17 full length quiz questions correctly. Democrats followed, with 11.4 correct. Independents took up the rear at 10.7 correctly answered questions. To SWPLs’ eternal frustration, failing to break out results by race means that assessments by party affiliation are always going to make Republicans, members of the nation’s de facto white party, look better than they do.
I don’t think the audacious one adequately emphasizes quite how ignorant the poll respondents are. In particular, the ignorance of women is stunning, answering multiple-choice, two-answer questions with roughly the accuracy of a flipped coin. They answered worse than chance on question 4: Which party is generally more supportive of reducing the size and scope of the federal government, Republicans or Democrats? (51% answered incorrectly.)
Maybe women don’t tend to authoritarianism. Maybe they’re so stupid they don’t know what they’re voting for. (NAWALT!) And I’m banking on this demographic to decide the next presidential election!
I think this presidential election will be decided by white female voters, who vote in higher numbers than men and are more malleable. See also: every revolutionary manifesto. I think men are going to vote in smaller numbers than usual due to the rise of fatalism in the American spirit.
This is because men usually vote out of rational self interest (everything else they say can safely be considered hamster spinning) and women usually vote as personal expression (everything else they say can safely be considered hamster spinning). That is, a woman picks representation similar to the way she picks friends or a sexual partner. What does this say about me? This is an easy sentiment to manipulate because it relies on perceptions, which are easier to manipulate.
Contra my usual claims, college graduates seem to have increased their basic literacy, averaging only three missed questions. After all, they know which party is generally considered more conservative! They must have watched the Daily Show at least twice!