Trump Supporters Score Higher on Verbal Ability Tests

And they do better on most science knowledge questions, too.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The fracas over Don Lemon of CNN laughing at his panel's insults about the intelligence of Trump supporters raises a larger issue: the ignorant belief that Trump supporters are much dumber than the general public and much dumber than those who supported Clinton in 2016.  Don Lemon and his guests specifically ridiculed Trump supporters for supposed problems with "readin'" and "geography" (e.g., picking out Ukraine on a map).

Even without looking at the data, it would be surprising if there were any VERY LARGE differences in intelligence between the average Trump supporter and the rest of the general public.

INTELLIGENCE OF TRUMP SUPPORTERS

We don't have great data on the intelligence of Trump supporters, but the best available is in the 2018 General Social Survey. For those unfamiliar with the GSS, it is usually regarded as the leading omnibus academic survey in the US; it usually achieves response rates about 10 to 20 times higher than the typical public opinion poll.

In 1974, the GSS adopted a 10-question vocabulary test (WORDSUM) that was extracted from a standard, widely used IQ test. The National Science Foundation (NSF), in its 2018 report on science knowledge, refers to this battery of GSS items as a "verbal ability" test.

In the 2018 GSS, respondents were asked for whom they voted in 2016 (PRES16) or for whom they would have voted if they had voted (IF16WHO): Clinton, Trump, someone else, or no one.

On the verbal ability test (WORDSUM), not surprisingly the median number of vocabulary questions correct was the same for both Clinton and Trump supporters: 6 out of 10 words correct.  The mean verbal ability score for Trump supporters was 6.15 words correct, while the mean verbal ability score for Clinton supporters was 5.69 correct, a difference of nearly a half a question on a 10-question test.  This moderate difference is statistically significant at p<.0005.

Further, Trump supporters score significantly higher on verbal ability (6.15 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.70 correct), whereas Clinton supporters score significantly lower on verbal ability (5.69 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.98 correct).

This should not be too surprising. On the 22 General Social Surveys using the verbal ability scale since 1974, for every single one, conservative Republicans score significantly higher than the rest of the public combined. As for Republicans overall, they score significantly higher in verbal ability than Democrats in all five decades, including for the 2010s combined.

But the Trump era is helping Democrats to catch up: the Republican advantage dropped to insignificance in 2016, and in 2018 Democrats (6.03 correct) actually scored slightly (but insignificantly) higher than Republicans (5.98 correct).

In 199[4], the GSS employed another module lifted from a standard IQ test, one testing analogical reasoning.  Again, Republicans and conservative Republicans in 199[4] performed significantly better on analogical reasoning than the rest of the public and significantly better than Democrats.

TRUMP SUPPORTERS' KNOWLEDGE OF SCIENCE

These results on verbal ability are also consistent with the results of most (but not all) of the National Science Foundation's science knowledge questions on the GSS.

Testing the hypothesis that Trump supporters have greater science knowledge than those who supported Clinton in 2016, on six questions Trump supporters offer the correct answer significantly more often than Clinton supporters: those about lasers, radioactivity, viruses, the father's contribution to the biological sex of the child (BOYORGRL), whether "according to astronomers" the universe began with a huge explosion (BIGBANG1), and that the earth goes around the sun and that it takes a year to do so (combined EARTHSUN and SOLARREV).

On one science knowledge question—whether the center of the earth is hot (HOTCORE)—the superior performance of Trump supporters over Clinton supporters is borderline significant (1-sided Fisher's Exact Test p=.05-.10).

On two questions, the structure of atoms (ELECTRON) and continental drift (CONDRIFT), Trump supporters score slightly, but insignificantly, better than Clinton supporters. On none of these nine science questions do Trump supporters score worse than Clinton supporters.

When one compares Clinton supporters to the rest of the public combined, Clinton supporters perform significantly worse than the rest of the public on the same six science questions on which Trump supporters perform better than Clinton supporters.

Indeed, less than half of 2016 Clinton supporters (49.6%) are able to answer correctly both of two related questions: whether the earth goes around the sun or the sun goes around the earth (EARTHSUN) and whether that takes a day, a month, or a year (SOLARREV).  Remember these two questions are multiple choice! You would have a 50-50 chance of guessing correctly on the first part: whether the earth goes around the sun or vice versa. Sadly, the general public didn't do hugely better than Clinton supporters, with only 57.1% (compared to 49.6%) knowing that the earth goes around the sun and that it takes a year to do so.

When one compares Trump supporters to all the rest of the public combined (rather than just to Clinton supporters), the pattern for these nine science questions is roughly similar (though weaker).

Overall, on most science knowledge questions Trump supporters score significantly higher than Clinton supporters and significantly higher than the combined non-Trump supporting public. If, however, you asked about beliefs, rather than knowledge, on evolution and the origins of the universe you would get substantially better answers on individual science questions from Clinton supporters than Trump supporters.

MAP-READING

As for reading maps and picking out countries, which the CNN segment raised, I searched quickly and found two Pew surveys from 2013 that asked respondents to pick out Egypt or Syria on a map of the Middle East. Testing the hypothesis that Republicans were significantly better at finding an unlabeled country on a map than Democrats, one 2013 Pew study supported that hypothesis (Republicans were indeed significantly more likely to pick out Syria on a map), while the other 2013 Pew study reported that Democrats were insignificantly better at picking out Egypt on a map.

Thus, neither of these two studies supports the CNN's panel's ridicule of right-wing map reading, and there is some weak evidence pointing in the other direction. Of course, this was a test of Republicans, not Trump supporters, but Trump supporters did better on the 2018 GSS verbal ability test and on 2018 science knowledge questions, so there is no strong reason to suppose that the results would be radically different if one were to test Trump supporters today rather than Republicans in 2013.  In 2013 the differences were not large either way, and it's unwarranted to suppose that (in a study of the quality of the GSS) any differences in map-reading would be large today.

IGNORANCE LEADS TO BIGOTRY

Don Lemon laughed uncontrollably at his guests insulting the intelligence and knowledge of Trump supporters. The best evidence we have suggests that, compared to the general public, Trump supporters score significantly better than the rest of the public—and Clinton supporters score significantly worse—on a standard verbal ability test. Likewise,  Trump supporters score significantly better on most science knowledge questions than Clinton supporters or the general public.

In this essay, I analyzed the results of over 30 questions from 22 different representative national surveys, involving over 20,000 respondents. Not one of the questions I examined here supports the idea that Trump supporters are significantly less knowledgeable than Clinton supporters, and some of them point to small or moderate differences in the opposite direction. The idea that there are very large differences in intelligence or knowledge here is implausible without strong evidence.

In short, Don Lemon is a bigot—and like most bigots, he's an ignorant one as well.

[Disclosure: The author made a small donation to the Hillary Clinton campaign in the fall of 2016.]

[Research Note: General Social Survey data were downloaded from NORC. GSS data are weighted by WTSALL. On science questions, I coded the correct answers v. those who gave wrong answers, said they don't know, or failed to answer.  The Pew data were downloaded from the IPOLL database at the Roper Center, and the WEIGHT variable was used. For 2x2 tables, significance was determined by 1-tailed Fisher Exact tests. For differences of means, 1-sided independent T-Tests were used without assuming equal variances.]

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  1. LOL….can’t wait for the Team D partisans to react to this one. 🙂

    1. It’s not shocking news, this sort of information has been available for a long time. They just ignore it and go on claiming everyone who disagrees with them is a moron.

      1. My favorite was when Haidt’s studies conclusively showed conservatives understood liberals viewpoints far more accurately than liberals understood other viewpoints. He was attacked fairly vociferously at the initial publication. Liberals tended to resort to moralistic assumptions of their opponents views instead of honestly arguing against them.

        1. Oh yeah, see the comments below by captcrises and lawtalkingguy about Trump supporters:
          “what would motivate a smart, informed person to vote for such a man? Greed? Bigotry? Short-sightedness? Misogyny? Fear? Xenophobia? The vicarious pleasure of…”

          For me it’s knowing I’ll still have a gun to protect myself take them out when captcrises and the Berniebros come to haul me off to the gulag.

        2. That is not what Haidt’s study found, and it didn’t “conclusively” prove anything. Please be more careful with such terminology.

          “My favorite was when Haidt’s studies conclusively showed conservatives understood liberals viewpoints far more accurately than liberals understood other viewpoints… Liberals tended to resort to moralistic assumptions of their opponents views instead of honestly arguing against them.”

          In fact, a better understanding of the study would be,

          “In other words, conservatives understand liberals better than liberals understand conservatives. More precisely, conservatives’ version of liberals matches liberals’ version of themselves better than liberals’ version of conservatives matches conservatives’ vision of themselves.”

          This simply means that liberals view conservatives far more harshly than the reverse but doesn’t speak to the validity of either judgement. The question “‘justice is the most important requirement for a society” saw that liberals thought that conservatives would disagree, while conservatives more correctly judged liberals view of themselves (good or bad), and has nothing to do with, “…moralistic assumptions of their opponents views instead of honestly arguing against them.”

      2. M looking forward to Arty losing his shit. He’s so goddamned stupid to begin with.

      3. No, it’s an op piece with cherry-picked data by Lindgren. Strangely he leaves out some other pieces of data within the GSS surveys: IQ rates between Trump and Clinton supporters.

        IQ
        White Trump voters — 100.0
        White Clinton voters — 105.5

        And he oddly doesn’t quote from peer-reviewed studies; Interesting that Jim Lindgren would add up some numbers himself rather than use an already peer-reviewed study. Perhaps it contradicts his opinion piece. “Reason” indeed.

        https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1948550618800494

        ABSTRACT: Using data from the American National Election Studies, we investigated the relationship between cognitive ability and attitudes toward and actual voting for presidential candidates in the 2012 and 2016 U.S. presidential elections (i.e., Romney, Obama, Trump, and Clinton). Isolating this relationship from competing relationships, results showed that verbal ability was a significant negative predictor of support and voting for Trump (but not Romney) and a positive predictor of support and voting for Obama and Clinton. By comparing within and across the election years, our analyses revealed the nature of support for Trump, including that support for Trump was better predicted by lower verbal ability than education or income. In general, these results suggest that the 2016 U.S. presidential election had less to do with party affiliation, income, or education and more to do with basic cognitive ability.

        1. The study you cite, using data from the Am Natl. Election Study (ANES), does not provide any evidence on whether those who voted for Trump or intend to vote for Trump score higher on the verbal ability scale. Though my analysis in my main post here was based on the General Social Survey, not the ANES, the Ganzach study you cite does not describe or analyze how Trump voters or intended Trump voters score on verbal ability tests. They instead look at 100-point thermometer ratings on whether you feel “warm” or “cold” about Trump and Clinton.

          Even then, their regressions do not tell you how well Trump warmers scored on verbal ability tests, but rather how well Trump warmers would score if all these things were true: blacks felt warmly about Trump at the same level as non-blacks, non-whites felt warmly about Trump at the same level as whites, Hispanics felt warmly about Trump at the same level as non-Hispanics, people with lower incomes felt warmly about Trump at the same level as people with higher incomes, and so on.

          Of course, none of these things are likely to be true. Such a bizarre world may be of interest to some academics, but it tells us virtually nothing about the real world in which, for example, blacks are not anywhere near as likely to feel warmly toward Trump as non-blacks, let alone vote for Trump.

          Last night, before I saw your comment tonight, I analyzed the same 2016 ANES database as the Ganzach study uses. In the 2016 ANES (weighted by V160101), these are the results on WORDSUM:

          Already Voted for Trump: 7.02 words correct
          Already Voted for Clinton: 6.72 words correct

          Intend to Vote for Trump: 6.97
          Intend to Vote for Clinton: 6.94

          Do not Intend to Vote but Preference for Trump: 5.37
          Do not Intend to Vote but Preference for Clinton: 5.40

          OVERALL (combined):
          Trump: 6.97
          Clinton: 6.93

          None of these differences are statistically significant.

          So in the same 2016 ANES that the study you cite analyzed so strangely, Trump voters score insignificantly higher on verbal ability than Clinton voters. As far as I can tell so far, there is no evidence in the Ganzach study you cite or in the 2016 ANES study that they used that in any way supports the conclusion that Trump voters or intended voters score lower on the WORDSUM verbal ability test than Clinton voters or intended voters, On the contrary, the available evidence suggests a very slight, insignificant advantage for Trump voters and intended voters.

          I suspect that almost everyone who read the Ganzach study or its abstract would have assumed (as you quite reasonably did) that it showed that Trump voters or intended voters score hugely lower on verbal ability tests. Indeed, I have to wonder why they didn’t provide any evidence at all on this issue, given that most readers would assume that their study addresses precisely this question. I think your concerns about whether data have been fairly and sensibly analyzed would be better raised about the Ganzach study than about my post.

    2. It’s probably true about global warming skeptics v. catastrophicators too.

      I started out agnostic about the question in 2005, put a lot of effort educating myself about the science before I reached the conclusion that the planet is warming. And it’s been warming at about the same same rate since about 1700, and some of it since the 70’s is human caused, but 2/3 the warming since 1700 can’t be human caused.

      Then don’t even ask the question of what would be more catastrophic, 4c of warming which humans likely couldn’t cause, or 4c of cooling which is probably more likely looking at the past 100,000 years of ice ages, which even double our current levels of greenhouse is unlikely to forestall.

      1. The climate alarmists, and models, all predict we have an unstable system, ie a feedback forcing greater than one not controlled to ever be less than that. Their models will always produce warming no matter the inputs. That is why they have to “reset” them every few years. They miss basic mathematical understanding of what is required for stability in a dynamic system. They cant explain why C02 levels much higher than today didnt cause runaway warming on the past. They are missing basic first principles on their assumptions.

        1. How do you account for Republican anti-science?.
          Like biological evolution?.
          The sole purpose of sex is procreation? (denies the Will of Almighty God AND elementary biology)
          Opposition to stem cell research?

          1. I think you are conflating a anti-science with anti-coercion.

            I am not aware of anyone who is opposed to stem cell research. I know LOTS of people who are opposed to the destruction of a human embryo.

            Once we figured out how to stimulate a patient’s own stem cells to be pluripotent, there is no controversy. Haven’t heard of any for years.

            The controversy over sex and evolution arises over FORCING people to learn/believe/express one or the other. Both sides on this topic have been wrong. The solution IMO is to eliminate the ability of the govt to act outside the boundaries set by our constitution.

            I have no problem with people who choose to recycle. I do have a problem with people who want to use ‘climate change’ as a way to FORCE people out of their right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness or to be governed by a government they approve of.

            In every case you cite, IMO, the issue is not one of science but of coercion. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of coercion and that is why I read a libertarian (mostly) site.

        2. JesseAZ- I’m trying to get educated on the science here. You mention that C02 levels much higher than today didn’t cause runaway warming in the past. When were the levels much higher than today? A website I found shows that they’re much higher now than they have been in a long time: https://www.co2levels.org

          1. And if you click the icon in the top left, it shows CO2 levels going back 800,000 years, and it’s not been as high as it is now. The highest CO2 level seen in the last 800,000 years was 299 parts per million, which was about 333,000 years ago. We’re currently over 400 parts per million now.

      2. Kazinski- NASA has stated that the previous instances of 4c warming occurred over a time period of roughly 5,000 years. Is it concerning that we are on a path to recreate the 4c in just 100 years time frame?

    3. Team D here is lead by a failed physics major in Sarcastro, so it tends to be another example of the inference of the article.

    4. I read this article, interested in seeing any real proof that would somehow negate the anecdotal evidence that hundreds, if not thousands of contacts with Trump supporters has provided. I read the article and noticed immediately that the initial data (GSS) was mentioned but no sample sizes. So I did a check and found that the sample size is around 1500 (if it is the same as the author’s i.e. search for Trump Clinton voters), which is hardly a sample size worth using. I also noticed that the author did not correct for education or economic status, which further underscored my suspicion of confirmation bias on the part of the author.

      As the author should know, if you compare two distinct education or two economic groups, you can expect dramatic differences in verbal ability. For those who might not understand this, if you compare a group of Trump supporters with PhDs with Clinton supporters who possess a high school education or less (or the reverse), then of course verbal ability between the two groups would be different. This is why such a “survey” of individuals needs to correct for such factors. At this point, I suspect that this was intentional on the part of the author, as any decent researcher would of course know to correct for this obvious condition, especially a university professor. I suspect that Lemon’s laughter cut a bit too close to home.

      If the author truly wished to delve into the topic, he might wish to look at the findings in “Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact.” or the more recent study from Belgium which in my opinion supports this work, although on a Emotional Intelligence level i.e. “The relationship between emotional abilities and right-wing and prejudiced attitudes.”

      If you combine this with the 2016 study of Trump supporters that concluded that excluding being Republican, a lack of contact with immigrant or non-white communities was the most determinative factor in their choice, might lead to a better grasp of the Trump supporter issue. I think the tie between the three studies is obvious, and needs no explanation.

      Perhaps if the author of this article was not so invested in disproving a few comments from a Republican strategist (Rick Wilson) that brought someone to laughter, he might have been able to present a cogent and thoughtful rebuttal. Instead he presented an argument that on its face would not be worthy of any survey course at a respected university, which is all the more shocking considering his credentials.

  2. For sure, you’ll be flamed for this post.

    Sadly, objective truth is unwelcome in political debates. That can be heard in Ben Shapiro’s visits to college campuses. He commonly hears that the actual facts are offensive, so he should make up unoffensive facts instead.

  3. Trump voter income is a lot higher than Clinton voter income too.

    Kirkland bigotry incoming . . .

    1. Of course it is. They don’t want to pay taxes.

    2. It’s not bigotry to laugh at your nonsense. Young people have been abandoning the GOP for decades, and older people trend Republican. So, if you’re accurate (no source given), you may be comparing age. People tend to earn more as the age, a lot more.

      On the other side, college graduates are far more likely to favor Democrats That would be meaningless if we still had an industrial base, but that’s been dying since the 1980s.

      According to Pew Research, 54 percent of college graduates either identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, compared to 39 percent who identified or leaned Republican. One-third of Americans have a college degree

      And, of course, most of Trump’s core base are Birthers.

      1. Hihn, get over it. Conservatives are smarter and better educated than you far left progressive extremists. As are libertarians.

        As a far left progressive, you aren’t intelligent enough to understand that.

      2. College professors tend to lean left. As my father, a college professor explained, “Many professors have a hard time understanding why someone who owns a car dealership earns more money than they do.” So naturally liberal teachers pull their students to the left. Experience often pulls people back to the right.

        How much of “education” is really education, and how much liberal indoctrination? I suppose it depends on department and decade. Marxists think that “advancing the cause” represents a higher morality than telling the truth. Hence the birth of a lot of junk science in the 20th and 21st century

        Should the left bother to capture a discipline? Well what’s the payoff? What’s the cost? As far as I know, there is little payoff for capturing chemistry, and the cost of doing so (learning chemistry) is high. But journalism in another matter entirely.

        We rather clearly have a one-party, one-ideology press. Liberals will both deny, and happily accept this finding. As to the latter response, they should realize that they may be liberal due to the press. If the press were conservative, you might be also.

        “And, of course, most of Trump’s core base are Birthers.” I get it, a smear, simple name-calling.

        I think most of Trump’s supporters are not “Birthers,” itself a rather prejudicial term.

        Does the topic have an “obvious” answer. An American marries someone who is not a US citizen, is their child obviously American? In his Chicago days, Hussein Obama presented himself, in print at least, as Kenyan. Is that simply to be ignored? You know, he lied then for effect, but is telling the truth now. There is more, but I assume you were never really interested.

        On a constructive note, an informed, complete and honest presentation of “natural born,” as used in the Constitution, could be of future use.

  4. I wait with bated breath for the rev’s mental contortions. How intricately programmed is that bot?

    It makes sense though. It is definitely true that more of the intelligentsia leans left. But these elite democrats are becoming a smaller fraction of the party, and the general verbal ability of the party is pulled down by the newcomers.

  5. In fairness to Don Lemon, and I’m probably showing my own bigotry here, but I have my doubts these numbers would hold up if the sample was of die-hard supporters or rally attendees. Lot of people voted for both of these candidates and probably wouldn’t call themselves supporters. And, whether you support him or not, I think it’s also fair to assume Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map.

    1. I’ve been to at least one rally, I’m an engineer with an IQ of 155, (Well, before the chemo; I’m sure it knocked a few points off my score.) and back in the 70’s came within a few points of acing the verbal portion of the SAT.

      Seriously, I would expect that political activists are, on average, smarter and better informed than the general population. On both sides of the political spectrum. You have to have mental energy to burn to be politically active AND lead a normal life on the side.

      1. I don’t put much stock in these metrics, but I went to the Harrisburg rally in 2016 (couldn’t even get in the lines were so long), I work in finance with IQ of 129. Only got a 1920 on SAT but my strongest subjects were always History and English, got a 5 on AP Lang/Comp test and 4s on US/Euro Hist, upper 700s on SAT II for US History, etc.

        All I did was stand in line for hours with my friend and talk to other people in line, but the crowd was very diverse. The most surprising thing I didn’t expect was the Indian turnout. I mean India Indian. Several hundred attended and they came in large groups. Also, the reports of protesters were grossly overstated. There were maybe 25 of them that came in on a schoolbus and the thousands of people who passed them by in the lines laughed at them all night long. We waited in line for over 4 hours and got there pretty early but never even got close to the entrance. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than 10k came in total.

      2. I have little respect for SAT accuracy or reliability. When I took them, you paid for three at a time. I only wanted to take 5, so took Math II because if I paid for it, I’m sure gonna try something. There was a question which I guessed at and later asked my teacher, and found I had guessed wrong. They scored me at 800 — perfect! I told them hogwash, I knew I had gotten one wrong. They claimed to have manually rescored it, still 800 perfect. Liars!

        1. FYI,

          Scoring an 800 does not mean you got every question right, for two reasons:

          1. Some of the questions don’t count. They are put in to be tested for possible inclusion in later exams.

          2. Your score is scaled based on the number of questions you get right, and it is not necessary to get them all right to score 800. I believe that in general the scores are normally distributed with sd = 100, so the 800 means you scored three sd’s above average.

          1. They’ve changed how that works over the years. Back in the 70’s, an 800 score actually did mean you got every question right. Which is why they were very uncommon.

            1. I believe this was true when I took it in 1985 also.

            2. I always wondered how they arrived at the scores, I scored 790 on the math portion (in 1978) and there weren’t enough questions on the test for one wrong to mean a loss of only 10 points. And I seem to remember being sure of all the questions (but that was a looooong time ago).

            3. I don’t think so.

              I remember being told, when I took it in the 60’s, that the model I described was in operation even then. It’s true that the scores were “recentered” at some point, which accounts for the more frequent perfect scores recently, but the mechanism was not changed.

              As an aside, since we’re bragging, I got an 800 on the advanced math achievement test(not quite the same as the SAT), and distinctly remember, as I walked out after the test, being angry with myself as I realized I had gotten one specific question wrong.

      3. Brett is somewhat correct according to political science research, in that politically active individuals show considerably more knowledge about politics (not necessarily biology or physics), but that increased political knowledge isn’t used to make better or more objective judgement per se. That large pool of political knowledge is usually used to offer counter-examples to the other side’s arguments and provide greater intellectual heft to one’s one pre-existing persuasion.

        1. The power of reason is indistinguishable from the power to rationalize, and the smarter you get, the better you get at fooling yourself.

          The discipline to not fool yourself into believing something you really want to believe is a very difficult one, and not, IMHO, well correlated with IQ.

          1. I couldn’t agree more.

          2. “The power of reason is indistinguishable from the power to rationalize, and the smarter you get, the better you get at fooling yourself.”

            +5, indeed. It takes an extraordinary amount of patience for a smart person to restrain from rationalizing their position. They can always come up with a clever reason why they might be right. It takes a deliberate mental effort to mentally switch the positions and then see if you’re tempted to switch your opinion. If you are, then your initial position is weak.

          3. “The discipline to not fool yourself into believing something you really want to believe is a very difficult one, and not, IMHO, well correlated with IQ.”

            You might be right about this, and at the same time good at fooling yourself into believing things. Just because you know the trap is out there doesn’t mean you can avoid falling into it.

          4. The power of reason is indistinguishable from the power to rationalize, and the smarter you get, the better you get at fooling yourself.

            Probably. It might behoove both of us to reflect on that.

          5. Damn… Nicely stated.

      4. “I would expect that political activists are, on average, smarter and better informed than the general population. On both sides of the political spectrum. ”

        It’s true. Many of them are also certifiably insane. On one side of the political spectrum especially.

        1. “It’s true. Many of them are also certifiably insane. On one side of the political spectrum especially.”

          But not the one you think.

      5. I guess my assumption was that a rally wasn’t actually attracting political activists. I generally attend pretty small meetings where we plan canvassing, voter registration, and phone banks. Anyway, that probably was a gratuitous dig at rally attendees. I guess my general point was that analyzing registered or identified Republicans doesn’t exactly overlay “Trump supporters.” I know plenty of family members, educated, middle class (don’t know the exact IQ scores or verbal abilities, but they speak good to me) who voted for Trump and probably will again, but they would take umbrage at being labelled a supporter. My friends and family are not a representative sample, I know. But this article would be a little more interesting, and hit harder if his point stands up, if it dug down into that distinction.

        1. but they would take umbrage at being labelled a supporter.

          It’s shame, plus there are far more independents than loyalists to either party.

    2. You are correct, you are showing your own bigotry here. You seem to think that rally attendees are ignorant fools, and you are wrong.

      And, I’m sure POTUS can find Ukraine on a map!

      1. Many rally attendees are ignorant fools, I’m sure, and many of them aren’t. There are many brilliant people on the left, and many fools as well. I suppose it’s human nature to assume lesser intelligence of someone who doesn’t agree with you. It’s a lot easier than actually engaging with the substance of their arguments.

    3. Does he have a hotel there? I’m pretty sure he can find all of his hotels on a map.

      And places he wants a hotel, but I will admit that probably excludes Ukraine.

      But seriously, he’s a real estate developer, he can probably read a map better than 98% of us because that’s how he makes his money. No matter how limited any individuals intelligence is, or how little curiosity they have, they do know the things they need to know to make money, and avoid losing money. Don’t challenge him to a map reading contest unless you are a geographer or a international real estate developer.

      1. It’s worth noting that the Trump organization doesn’t really build anything anymore..at least partly due to their inability to secure loans due to prior bankruptcies and a general policy of excessive litigation and not paying bills. They license their name to buildings and are involved in property sales, then they receive contracts to manage the properties on the back end. It’s really more of a branding operation with one media property although I’m unsure how The Apprentice is related to the Trump real estate organization. I guess they do renovate golf courses but at least based on public reporting it’s not clear how profitable that was prior to his election.

    4. That’s because you allow media representations to impress you. They find the worst people and publish their pictures.

      1. Because the people that make up the news media are dishonest.

      2. In one of the Scary Movies Brenda says something like ‘The press only want to interview the most ignorant people they can find’.

        Profound…

  6. A question for Jim Lindgren: was age-adjustment included as part of the analysis? (I am unsure if that might make a difference). Thanks!

    1. I did do an exploratory regression controlling for age on one of the analyses of WORDSUM. To my mild surprise, it made little difference, but I didn’t pursue it further.

      1. Next question. What would the results be if it could be controlled for race, education, and income? I’m curious how those different parameters fall within the Clinton/Trump split. Further, I wonder how these results would look if it was split by political ideology. Whether a person votes for one candidate or another might be a reasonable proxy for ideology. Still, I think Trump supporters aren’t nearly as conservative as general Republicans and

  7. The results in the science spectrum of the survey, are consistent with commentary regarding science on this forum, especially related to agw. The republicans and trump supporters are far less likely to fall for the pseudo science claims promoted by the AGW activists.

  8. Not only is this bigotry, but it’s also classism. Notwithstanding whether or not Trump supporters are better educated, smarter, richer, or whatever than non supporters, they are perceived as being of lower social class, uneducated, ignorant, not college grad and certainly not professional class. Even if that were the case (which it does not appear to be the case) so what? Their vote counts the same as the smartest, best educated non Trump supporter.

  9. This is essentially a compilation that has not been subjected to peer-review to ensure that the methodology conforms to scientific standards. I am admittedly biased.

    Where Trump supporters do not fare well is in intellectual curiosity. Curiosity is the engine of critical thinking. Critical thinking informs our decision making. It also plays an important role in guiding our intellectual honesty.

    One faction of our citizenry has absorbed 15,000 Trump misstatements without being affected by the dishonesty. (Obama is said to have told 18 fibs over eight years.)

    Right now we are having what should be an unthinkable debate in this country. People do not want the Senate to call impeachment witnesses because the information that those witnesses will provide will probably be unfavorable to their preferred politician.

    It is, in effect, a Bryan Stevenson story. The judge refuses to allow the testimony of an alibi witness because our jurist favors a conviction.

    The Trump clique is fine with that as long as they might get their *&$%ing wall. That does not seem very intelligent.

    1. Well since they aren’t alleging what I consider an impeachable offense just how curious should I be about proving facts that don’t implicate him in wrong doing?

      I’m more pissed he didn’t get them to do the investigation of obvious corruption. I think he needs to ask Zelensky again about the investigation, preferably on live TV.

    2. “One faction of our citizenry has absorbed 15,000 Trump misstatements without being affected by the dishonesty. (Obama is said to have told 18 fibs over eight years.)”

      That you believe both of those assertions is remarkable.

    3. Where Trump supporters do not fare well is in intellectual curiosity. Curiosity is the engine of critical thinking. Critical thinking informs our decision making. It also plays an important role in guiding our intellectual honesty.

      As the saying goes, [citation needed]. I see lots of democrats who refuse to engage in critical thinking. In fact . . . .

      One faction of our citizenry has absorbed 15,000 Trump misstatements without being affected by the dishonesty. (Obama is said to have told 18 fibs over eight years.)

      There some is right there. That you assume every citizen has “absorbed” various misstatements (and that all of those “misstatements” are actually false statements, versus disagreements over opinions or how things are presented) shows a lack of critical thinking. So does your assumption that Obama actually said only 18 fibs in 8 years. Indeed, if “Obama is said to have told 18 fibs,” I seriously question the rigor of those engaging in the saying.

      1. As the saying goes, [citation needed]. I see lots of democrats who refuse to engage in critical thinking.

        The majority of Republicans are Birthers.

        1. [Citation Needed]

          I know plenty of republicans and 0 birthers.

          1. Mostly the same here. I know plenty of Republicans and maybe one birther. Apparently the mis-named “TheLibertyTruthTeller” (or TLTT for short) is just making stuff up.

        2. 100% of Michael Hihn is an extremist progressive activist.

    4. “One faction of our citizenry has absorbed 15,000 Trump misstatements without being affected by the dishonesty. (Obama is said to have told 18 fibs over eight years.)”

      the quantity of misstatements by both individuals is probably very comparable. The primary difference is one group has the analytical ability to recognize a misstatement. The other side is just gullible

      you can keep your health plan
      This agreement will stop Iran’s nuclear program.
      It was a video that caused the uprising that killed Stephens.
      just a couple lies that were repeated a few thousand times

      1. “It was a video that caused the uprising that killed Stephens.
        just a couple lies that were repeated a few thousand times”

        This one was repeated a few thousand times, all right… but not by Obama and his apologists.

        Trump said “we” were going to repeal the ACA and bring us a better, cheaper alternative that everyone would like much better… within his first 100 days in office.

  10. No. You’re just trying to make me feel better. It’s ok really.

    It’s kind of funny when you try to corelate political views to intelligence. I’ve got a younger brother who is every bit as smart as I am, and he’d admit the same about me. But he is at least as rabid a Bernie supporter as I am a conservative, so we both have to admit intelligence is not the determiner of political views. I don’t consider myself a Trump supporter per se, just an enthusiastic Trump voter. I’d rather be voting for Ted Cruz,
    Tim Cotton, or possibly Glenn Reynolds. But Trump’s doing fine and he’s the one on the ballot. And he is absolutely unsurpassed at appointing judges, maybe not perfect but there hasn’t been anyone better since Washington.

    1. I second the vote for Glenn Reynolds. Actually, your example of you and your brother is consistent with intelligence being a driver. Intelligence tends to make thinking more organized, which tends to lead to one side or the other, rather than the middle.

      1. I have come to the conclusion that primate evolution and group dynamics explains more about people’s views on politics than a rational evaluation of topical issues. Not that I question my own perception of the issues at all, that just applies to other people.

        I’m also living in a third world country now, where political issues seem to boil down to who you think should be looting the treasury. And whether Chinese corruption, money laundering and real estate speculation is more lucrative than US, Japan and EU investment.

  11. These are surprising results, as the same (and other) data sets suggest (i) lower maximum educational achievement of Trump voters; (ii) a strong correlation (and plausible causal relationship) between educational achievement and correctness of answers; and (iii) an inverse correlation between age and science questions, while Trump voters skew older.
    Some wonky reporting above that makes me question the neutrality and selectivity in the analysis, without re-running the numbers. May be some P-hacking here. See you have subtly backed out a couple ‘science’ questions as relating to “belief” as opposed to “knowledge”, about the big bang and evolution, before presenting totals.
    Would also be curious to see vocabulary controlled for mother-tongue (can scarcely leap from “vocabulary” to “intelligence” without doing at least that).

    1. Part of the possible dichotomy between educational achievement and party identification may be a result of teachers so strongly supporting Democrats – traditionally probably driven by union protections pushed by Democrats. Education majors apparently mostly come from the lowest quartiles of college graduates, and statistically possessors of Doctor of Education degrees are the only “doctors” who, on average score roughly at the population mean in IQ, while the mean IQ for other doctorates was about one std deviation above the mean (except maybe physics, which was higher). Enough to skew your results? I have no idea.

  12. My Trump supporting brother is an intelligent person. But he’s also a racist who votes against his own and his family’s best interests.

    Hell – Obamacare is the only reason he is still alive after four heart attacks.

    1. I know right? If only he were smart enough to be very selfish he would be a Democrat!

    2. I have noticed a tendency by a lot of Republican voters to ignore their own interests. If your household income is less than $100,000 a year, you are probably better off with Democratic policies, but poor voters are the backbone of the GOP all through the South. For that matter, large swaths of the South couldn’t survive the loss of federal money but you’d never know it from all the anti-federal rhetoric.

      I have a sister with multiple disabilities who is on SSI who votes Republican because she hates immigrants. She then calls me and cries because her benefits are being cut and she doesn’t know how she’s going to make it. Or at least she did until I bluntly told her she was getting what she voted for.

      1. Why arent you opening your Democrat wallet and helping out your sister? I guess you’d rather have the people in government force other Americans to do what you wont do yourself.

        1. How do you know I’m not?

          But did I mention that libertarianism is basically a religion for petulant teenagers?

          1. Because you’re crying about some government free shit.

            Did I mention collectivism is some regressive fantasy of how humans used to live in tribes back before civilization?

            1. Also how most modern American families work. (though not at the same scale).

              1. The poison is in the dose. So the scale isn’t a parenthetical concern.

                Also, given that the socialist championing Left clearly don’t love anyone who disagrees with them, the collectivism that they advocate isn’t materially like how modern American families work.

                Family members supporting each other through loving self sacrifice. Collectivism – as brought to you by the Democratic Party – is about government coerced patronage.

              2. Not at the same scale, because families don’t scale. For a lot of reasons.

                You can’t expect an institution formed when two people fall in love with each other to operate like an institution that just hoovers up every person in a specific geographical area.

          2. Krychek_2

            You asked: “How do you know I’m not?”

            If you were actually doing yourself what Sam infers you’d rather the “government force other Americans to do,” then your sister wouldn’t be crying and telling you that “she doesn’t know how she’s going to make it” when her benefits get cut.

            That’s how we know.

            1. Rather than respond to all the thoughtful conservatives who have jumped on my for not supporting my sister, a few general comments:

              1. The point of my original comment is that a lot of Republican voters do so against their own interests. That’s true whether I support my sister or not. And if you’re going to vote against your own interests (in her case, because she’s an open racist), you really can’t then complain about getting what you vote for. And that’s also true whether I support my sister or not.

              2. The local fire department is socialist, but I don’t hear many conservatives saying it should be closed down; I suppose pure libertarians would, but there’s a reason libertarians typically get 1% of the vote. So the analysis is not whether a particular program is socialist; the analysis is whether it leaves us better off than we were before. And the cold, hard data leaves no doubt that we are better off for having a government safety net.

              3. I do and have sent my sister money, but the level of care she needs is beyond my means. However, even if I were Bill Gates, there are lots of people out there who don’t have well to do relatives to support them. Unless you are willing to watch them die on the streets, somebody has to look after them.

              4. The problems of the poor tend to seep out into the general population. So a government safety net is in your best interests too.

              1. It seems that you’re one of those that likes to determine others’ best interests for them.

                It’s possible for people to be single issue voters and to measure their interests in ways that you wouldn’t, and also cannot fathom. For your sister it’s immigration. For me it would be abortion, and I would likely vote for a statist but anti-abortion Democrat over an individualist but pro-abortion Republican. Fortunately the principles behind the positions are such that the hypothetical dilemma is unlikely to be actual anywhere.

                The point is that just because my interests align in a way that you can’t figure out does not justify your belief that I am voting against my interest.

                The local fire department isn’t in any meaningful way socialist, and is in fact one of the few proper functions for which government should collect taxes – it, like the military, protects the people’s property.

                I sincerely hope (I know it won’t come across this way, but it is sincere!) that you’re one day as rich as Gates and maintain your attitude that somebody has to look after the less well-off. I think charity ought to fill the deficit between one’s personal wealth (inc. the ability to work and otherwise raise funds) and one’s needs in a well-ordered society.

                And you simply can’t tell me a *government* safety net is in my best interests or that charity could not function as well if the general population were encouraged to think that way. I recall studies showing that charitable giving to developing countries far exceeded US government foreign aid. A government safety net dampens the charitable impulse that is otherwise strong and fast in the majority of Americans. In my opinion.

                1. Vaughn:

                  You’re intelligent enough that if you voted for an anti-abortion statist, you would do so with your eyes open, knowing that statism was a likely outcome. And if you then complained about statism, my response to you would be the same as my response to my sister: You’re getting what you voted for. You decided that meddling in the affairs of pregnant women — or in her case keeping people with brown skins out of the country — is more important than your own economic well being. Personally, I would think that’s pretty dumb on both your parts, but you’re right; people do have the right to make their own decisions about what they consider important.

                  And there are two costs to getting rid of the government safety net. The first is to the individuals and families involved. If a family has a child with a disability and they’re on their own, it may mean that other children don’t get to go to college, or start their own families, or start their own businesses. Because every nickel of discretionary income and then some gets put into taking care of that child. And on this we just disagree: I don’t think a civil society allows that to happen if it can do something about it.

                  The secondary costs are to society as a whole. While conservatives think we’re practically a socialist country now, if you look at other countries that have better safety nets, including national health care — Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Japan — you find that their people are healthier, live longer, have lower infant mortality rates, are better educated, and actually tend to have more discretionary income. For some of those numbers, the US is practically a third world country. And I just don’t see why we wouldn’t want the same for ourselves. But then, if it means that some poor billionaire now has to live on a million a year instead of ten million, I can live with that.

                  And you are simply defining socialism so that it excludes socialism that you like, like the fire department. By any honest definition of the term, the fire department is a socialist institution. Everybody pays into it, whether they want to or not, so that those few people who have fires are taken care of. You know, from each according to his ability and all that.

                  And I really don’t want to be as rich as Bill Gates, for many reasons, but one of them is I don’t consider hoarding to be a sign of mental health, whether we’re talking about hoarding cats, hoarding newspapers, or hoarding money. If you’re got, by orders of magnitude, more money than you could spend in a hundred lifetimes, and there are others around you who are doing without basic needs, hoarding all that money is not a sign of mental health, or of being a decent human beings. Maybe if rich people were no longer looked up to as objects of admiration, but rather pitied as victims of mental illness, we might see some change.

                  Ultimately, the type of capitalism you espouse is going to disappear because it was developed for a set of circumstances that no longer exists. It doesn’t meet society’s needs any more.

                  1. Actually we agree on the point about a civil society, at least partially. My point is that a healthy society is one where each individual *wants* to help others and can choose who they help as well as how they help. I don’t believe a healthy society is one where an individual expects, and depends, on the government to take care of everyone.

                    Both approaches can co-exist but only with tension, and promoting one necessarily erodes the other.

                    I think many honest definitions of socialism would not include your local firefighters. The alternative understanding that you advance makes every function of government – including the most fundamental and legitimate – socialist.

                    I am a capitalist but the point of my reply to you wasn’t to espouse capitalism, rather charity and subsidiarity. And capitalism isn’t going anywhere.

                    1. I’m actually more of a capitalist than anything else; I just see government having a larger role to play in the economy than you do. But I’m no Bernie Sanders.

                      As to the fire department, see my response to Red Rock below. Also, thanks for a conversation that has mostly been civil and polite.

              2. I think you’re missing the complexity of the issue, which could be accomplished through compromise, but gets lost in talking points. I’ll give you a personal example. And for disclosure sake, I generally leaned republican (until this current fiasco).

                My mother works in a house supporting 4 people: herself, her husband (who has MS), her brother (who works intermittently and provides a little help around the house), and his wife. Of them, two (husband and sister-in-law) collect SSDI, the husband for his MS, the sister-in-law because [shrug emoji]. Supposedly some type of learning disability or something or other.

                Republicans generally don’t mind providing SSDI for the husband; he has MS and can’t walk (though his other unhealthy choices do exacerbate the issue); they would object to giving it to her, since it’s more about laziness and excuse making.

                Unfortunately, the system doesn’t do a great job of segregating these groups. And if it did, you’d find some group interviewing her about how she has some problem that keeps her from working (she doesn’t, other than her own decisions), accompanied by demands to increase some other safety program. So republicans end up nibbling away at it in other ways, hoping to get those marginal cases.

                Both parties end up hurting those in need: republicans by cutting the funding for everyone; democrats by not taking a harsher stand on those who abuse the system, prompting distrust of the program in general.

                1. David, I completely agree with you. I would go a step further. I suffer from chronic depression and having a job is wonderfully therapeutic because it means I have to get out of bed, get cleaned up, leave the house, go somewhere and do useful work when I get there. I’m a huge believer in the value of self sufficiency for those that can.

                  I also agree the system is not that good at picking out who can and who can’t. I’d like to see changes made in that direction. However, until that happens, is it better to err on the side of shutting out the deserving or giving to the undeserving?

              3. The local fire department is socialist.

                No, it’s not. Neither are public libraries or roads. “Collectively-funded service” does not automatically mean “socialist.” If that was the case, the feudal order was the most socialist form of government ever.

                1. Red Rocks, any time you have the government taking money from Peter to do something for Paul, it’s socialism. That includes feudal orders to the extent that services were being provided. If the feudal lords are taxing the vassals to enrich themselves but not provide services, that’s not socialism. So it depends on how the money is being spent. Remember, the foundation of socialism is from each according to his ability (the people paying taxes to support the fire department) to each according to his need (the guy whose house is on fire).

                  But because libertarians don’t like admitting to supporting socialism if we’re talking about the fire department or the judiciary, they attempt to re-define things. Well, you don’t get to win by re-defining things. If the government is taxing Peter to do something for Paul, it’s socialism. Period, full stop.

                  So, please explain how you define socialism in such a way that it includes welfare but not the fire department.

                  1. If one considers the dictionary’s definition to be useful in defining a common language, the online Merriam Webster (happened to be the first hit) has:

                    “Definition of socialism

                    1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
                    2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
                    b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
                    3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”

                    (Britannica, Dictionary.com, and wikipedia all have similar definitions, so that one isn’t an anomaly)

                    Merely having a navy, courts, police, or fire department doesn’t really square with those definitions – every government that isn’t anarchist has those. Well, landlocked countries might skip the navy :-).

                    1. Those definitions are perfectly fine for telling us whether a country or an economy are socialist. They do not tell us if a particular government program is socialist.

                      Suppose there is an otherwise completely capitalist country that has Swedish style national health care. Would you agree with me that the health care program is socialist even if the rest of that country’s economy is not?

                      So long as the program taxes Peter to provide benefits to Paul, it’s a socialist program. Even if the rest of the economy is free market.

                    2. ” They do not tell us if a particular government program is socialist. … So long as the program taxes Peter to provide benefits to Paul, it’s a socialist program. ”

                      If the fire department, police, courts, military are all socialist programs, then by your definition every government program is. That would make it a redundant, and thus useless, term.

                      I always find these arguments baffling. Trying to insist that the word adopt your private vocabulary isn’t persuasive.

                  2. Red Rocks, any time you have the government taking money from Peter to do something for Paul, it’s socialism

                    This is just question-begging. Both are paying for the service, not just Peter.

                    Remember, the foundation of socialism is from each according to his ability (the people paying taxes to support the fire department) to each according to his need.

                    That doesn’t change the fact that both Peter and Paul are paying for the fire department, not just Peter. You really think just one person is paying those taxes?

                    1. Yes, they are both paying for the fire service but one of them is getting back considerably more than what he put in. So the central tenet of socialism- from each according to his ability to each according to his need – remains unchanged.

                    2. Yes, they are both paying for the fire service but one of them is getting back considerably more than what he put in.

                      If you keep having to resort to question-begging, you don’t have an argument.

    3. But he’s also a racist who votes against his own and his family’s best interests.

      This programmed, pretentious talking point doesn’t become any more intelligent the more it’s brought up. Individuals determine what their own best interests are based on personal calculations, irrespective of what you think they should be.

  13. The comments in this blog are proof of the study.

    1. For the most part, the comments in this blog are worthless garbage.

      1. And yet in the top percentile when compared with the rest of the intertubes. Be afraid, be very, very afraid.

  14. I don’t know if I fully believe the conclusions you have drawn from your results, but I am impressed with your constructive reaction to the stimulus. When someone on TV annoys me, I usually just change the channel.

  15. Wait.

    Are you trying to tell me that people who hold opinions different from mine can still be smart, sane and decent?

    You’re putting me on.

  16. The issue with Trump support is and always was about character and morals.

    So the question is why otherwise intelligent people so strongly support someone they are undoubtedly smarter than, especially when that person’s other character and moral flaws are so apparent.

    The answer, of course, is that possessing high intelligence and broad general knowledge is not a bar to cruelty and selfishness. Indeed, some very smart people are by their nature selfish and cruel.

    Intelligence can’t make someone any less of a bully or less in thralled with bullying.

    1. We are talking about politicans here, so if the standard is voting for someone with character and morals then we would all be staying home on election day.

      But if we do decide on voting anyway then we may have to choose between flawed candidates. So we pick the one that we think will lead to the best outcome, which should be the goal, not apparent virtue. When you are lost in the jungle you’ll follow the drunk reprobate who knows the way back to civilization over the sinless nun that sincerely tells you if God doesn’t show us the way out she’ll stay and pray with you until you expire.

      1. Perhaps. But what if the person is deliberately selling cruelty and selfishness as virtues? That’s the problem with Trump.

        1. No, that’s your OPINION of what you see as a problem with Trump. That’s a purely subjective view. In my view, taking my hard earned salary at a much higher rate only to give it to a bunch of college kids who want someone else to pay off their college debts is way more cruel than anything Trump has done.

          1. You don’t think the guy who praises a congressman for assaulting a journalist, his Secretary of State for bullying one isn’t selling cruelty? You don’t think his telling cops they should rough up suspects isn’t selling cruelty? Or his endless childish insults of everyone who slightly opposes him? Or his weird fascination with military members as mere “killing machines”? Or doing things simply to “own the libs”? He’s selling cruelty.

            1. He’s not doing anything different than I see from the average liberal on Twitter, including a lot of elected politicians and journalists/pundits. So why should I be outraged when he acts like they do?

        2. Yeah that bothers me a lot. But we are all flawed. Here’s the alternatives I see to Trump:

          Biden: A non-entity that has zero positive accomplishments in 40 years in public life, never had an original thought in his life, and would make a perfectly fine president if there are no crises and Russia and China and Iran behave, and he’s saddled with a Republican Congress.

          Sanders: A passionate believer in socialism who still mourns the Soviet collapse and genuinely believes we’d all be happier at half our current standard of living as long as we are all dealing with the same level of misery.

          Warren: A lukewarm believer in capitalism, but she’s willing to flush it all down the drain if it makes her president.

          Buttigeig: Probably will be a good guy, but nothing special, when he grows up and finally gets a real job.

          And I guess Trump too: A first class asshole who is totally self absorbed and wildly overestimates himself. But actually has good instincts, and is just as pissed at the lousy governance we’ve been getting the last 40 years as the rest of us and wants scrap an establishment that thinks they can run things based on insider consensus rather than consent of the people.

          1. +1, that pretty much matches my analyis

            I’d probably rate Buttigeig higher, but he’s got no chance of winning the primary. He’ll never get any significant black support and you can’t win the South without it.

            “‘On life support’: Buttigieg’s struggles with black voters threaten his candidacy”

            https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/24/pete-buttigieg-south-carolina-103325

    2. It’s true that intelligence doesn’t necessarily make anyone less of a bully or give them good character and morals. However, don’t forget that Trump is hardly the only office seeker who can be criticized for lacking good character. Indeed, some would say that his most prominent opponents are of even worse character.

      1. I honestly don’t see how that’s possible. Even if they’re all sociopaths, they at least have the ability to feign empathy and caring. I mean, they won’t be smiling at the hospital after a shooting or getting dis-invited from funerals.

        1. Eh, gotta give you a 3/10.

          I mean, your effort at making an argument was perfect in form, but the implicit proposition that Hillary Rodham Clinton is capable of feigning empathy or caring is so ridiculous as to totally blow it. Whether you’re an “undercapitalized” entrepreneur or a US diplomat murdered in a terrorist attack, Hillary Rodham Clinton can do nothing but reveal her annoyance that your problems are getting in her way.

          1. Still better than Trump saying traumatic brain injuries are no big deal, making fun of POWS, being uncaring to La David Johnson’s widow after his death in Niger and then lying about it, blaming the military for a botched raid in Yemen he authorized, implying John Dingell is in hell. Pretty much everything he has ever said about Hurricane Maria. Etc.

            Oh and Jesus, how can you forget the time he told the grieving parents of a person killed by the wife of a US diplomat that she was in the next room.

            Feigning empathy and having the bare minimum social consciousness: point Clinton.

            1. Your score is now 0/10.

              Belaboring the point that Trump has zero capability in an area does not even constitute an attempt to demonstrate Clinton has greater than zero capability.

              1. Fine. Maybe you should read about her Wellesley College years or her discussion of how her Methodism influences her, and then imagine Trump trying to do the same.

                Also FWIW, Hillary was never an absentee parent.

                1. I’m perfectly able to imagine Trump letting a ghost writer tell all sorts of lies about his early years and religious beliefs in print. What drugs are you on that you can’t?

                  1. Maybe because my view of his parenting skills and his religious are based on the things he actually says live on the air and not based on ghost written books?

                    1. Considering his kids all seem to love him, your judgement of his parenting skills is rather suspect.

          2. Oh, I think she’s certainly capable of feigning empathy. But she’s got terrible judgment about when doing so is necessary, and doing it isn’t her first impulse.

      2. Not to hijack the thread, but Tall Paul was the nickname of a pool player I (barely) knew in the bay area circa 1990. Any chance you’re the same guy?

    3. Objectively, Trump is doing a good job. That’s a reason to support him.

      The negative characterizations of his mannerisms are more interesting to people who have already definitively chosen sides against Trump (and against Americans who benefit from Trump’s actions).

      Many of the rest of us just see anti-Trump criticism as a bunch of complaints from self-interested complainers who always complain no matter what happens. When things go better for the complainers, they complain more because it’s working. Case in point: race relations got worse during the Obama Administration due to the celebration and promotion of grievances. And then the same people who promote division try to lecture the rest of us about “morals”, as if dividing people for your own self-promotion were “moral”.

      Romney was “moral”. Did you vote for him? Spoiler: no, you voted for the guy who divides people into warring camps so he can lead one side against the other — also known as a community organizer.

      1. “Case in point: race relations got worse during the Obama Administration due to the celebration and promotion of grievances.”

        Has it ever occurred to you that they were never that good in the first place and you just didn’t realize it? And that your real complaint is it shattered the myth that racism disappeared after 1964?

        Maybe your real problem is that you’re feeling defensive for promoting a myth about America, and then blaming someone who only very mildly called it out.

        1. Do you ever get tired of being negative?

          1. I’m not always negative. I think people are perfectly capable of transcending narrow self-interest and world-views to become more empathetic and conscientious. They’re also perfectly capable of expanding their sense of moral and ethical duty to encompass more people and circumstances. And if they’re not the rest are probably capable of at least feigning it. Maybe not in my lifetime, but you know, its certainly possible. It just won’t happen if we insist on buying into myths about ourselves.

        2. But why does Gallup say that perceptions of race relations
          have improved 14 points under Trump
          ?

          I’m sure it’s just some collosal error, or a the Russians hacked Gallup or something, but there it is.

          1. Interesting.

            Well for one thing, this is a correlation/causation issue. In a recent Ipsos poll 8/10 Black Americans thought Trump was racist, so to the extent it is improving it likely is not attributable to him in any way shape or form. If anything, it’s probably coming from the bottom up: more conscientious employers and educators, “progressive” DAs and other local officials, etc.

            For another thing, you might want to check what that poll also said about the “position of blacks and minorities” in America. 54% of Non-White Americans were in the dissatisfied category compared to White Americans who were only 42% dissatisfied. (Unclear if some of those are dissatisfied because we should be treating them worse.) And conversely 50% of Whites are satisfied with the position of Blacks and minorities compared to 37% of non-White participants.

            So that poll isn’t saying exactly what you think its saying.

          2. There’s no demographic breakdowns but my hunch is a lot of people uncomfortable with Black Lives Matter and a Black President are suddenly a lot happier.

        3. “Has it ever occurred to you that they were never that good in the first place and you just didn’t realize it? And that your real complaint is it shattered the myth that racism disappeared after 1964?”

          If that ever occurred to me, I had a chuckle over the crazy notion, and moved on.

          It is well understood, or used to be, that the only way to end a feud is to give up on evening the score, and Just Stop Shooting. As somebody once said, the way to end discrimination is to stop discriminating.

          What Obama did, in the name of “opening up a dialogue”, was to stoke resentments. Encourage utterly unrealistic expectations, such as “reparations”. If he was deliberately setting out to make race relations worse, he did all the right things.

    4. We get it, you hate Trump and are emotionally driven to denigrate him, even when facts in no way support your statements. Trump is fairly intelligent, but you can’t admit that because your hatred makes you irrational.

      He is certainly more intelligent than at least most of his likely general election opponents. Biden is a drooling idiot, and Bernie isn’t much better. Despite any academic pedigrees, most of them have no practical knowledge of things like economics, and are instead indoctrinated into dogmatic Marxist propaganda. Which in no way substitutes for real knowledge of economics, finance, accounting, etc..

      But you don’t like him, and that’s all that matters to support your delusions.

  17. “But the Trump era is helping Democrats to catch up: the Republican advantage dropped to insignificance in 2016, and in 2018 Democrats (6.03 correct) actually scored slightly (but insignificantly) higher than Republicans (5.98 correct).”

    That’s probably the Never Trumpers jumping ship, a lot of brilliant people. About the only thing I can say about that is “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked…”

  18. This is a nonsense argument. And I’d say that if the parties were reversed.

    Intelligence metrics as partisan cheerleading belongs on Free Republic, not here.

    1. Stories that aren’t emotionally satisfying to Democrats must be censored. Facts can be casually disbelieved — no counter-arguments are needed other than Shut Up.

      1. The thing is, your sentence is just as accurate if you sub in “Republicans” for “Democrats”.

        1. But that wouldn’t fit the context. “Shut up” is an argument mostly used by leftists these days. It is also known as deplatforming, cancel culture, etc.

          1. Then it’s a good thing none of the leftists here said that. Nice straw man.

        2. It really isn’t Pollock. Progressives tend to have inferior minds.

          Sometimes the truth hurts.

    2. Lindgren doesn’t blog at Free Republic does he?

      Here’s helpful pointer for reading a blog: If you like a post read it, if you don’t like it, skip it and go to the next post, or get back to work cause you’ve probably been goofing off enough already.

    3. “Intelligence metrics as partisan cheerleading belongs on Free Republic…”

      The disclaimer at the end of the article says that the author is a Hillary supporter.

      1. Which is irrelevant to my issue, isn’t it?

      2. “the author is a Hillary supporter”

        It says he was a Hillary voter. It says nothing about who he currently supports.

    4. It’s a nonsense as the left constantly pushing the narrative that Trump supporters are low-information voters/racist hicks who are too dumb to vote in their own self-interests (which democrats get to pick for them). Yet we see that narrative all. the. time.

      It’s fair to use statistics to push back on that. Once it finally stops, then posts like this will be as inane as the assumption that all republicans are morons.

      And if you think that narrative doesn’t exist, let me introduce you to a certain professed Reverend who likes to post on here.

  19. This reminds me of the time that arch liberal Eleanor Cliff confidently asserted on a PBS program that Syria is landlocked and has no access to the sea.

    1. Holy crap! I thought so too, until I just looked it up 30 seconds ago.

  20. If it can’t be explained by stupidity or ignorance, then what would motivate a smart, informed person to vote for such a man? Greed? Bigotry? Short-sightedness? Misogyny? Fear? Xenophobia? The vicarious pleasure of supporting a liar, thief, and sexual predator who keeps getting away with his lies, theft and predations?

    1. I can’t speak for anyone else but you’ve checked all my boxes.

      But really SMOD wasn’t on the ballot so Trump seemed like the next best option.

      1. If Trump walked in and grabbed your wife’s p**sy, you’d be fine with it,
        That’s been established.

        1. Keep your fantasies to yourself, creeper.

    2. “a liar, thief, and sexual predator who keeps getting away with his lies, theft and predations?”

      Bill Clinton?

      1. Trump boasted about it. And did not lose a smidgen of support.

        If he came into your house and grabbed your wife’s p**sy, you’d just let him do it, right?

        1. He’s terrible, just better than Hillary was. After all, Hillary helped Bill grab his share of ladyparts.

            1. LOL.

              Do you also think the moon is made of green cheese?

        2. Trump set a predator, just a ladies man. When you have billions of dollars and a TV show, you don’t have to go looking for hot chicks. Which is what he was saying.

          But like the article points out, a lot of lefties aren’t very smart, so o can see where you’re confused.

        3. If Trump walked in and your wife walked up to him, grabbed his hand, and put it on her pussy, you’d just let her do it, right?

          That’s the more realistic question.

  21. I would be surprised if IQ, per se, is a good predictor of political views at all, because there is a whole boatload of data that most people hold their views for psychological, emotional or other non-rational reasons, and tend to discount contrary data. There is no correlation between high IQ and common sense. By the way, I’m a Mensan, and one of the best attended seminars at one of our recent annual gathers was on the subject of why do smart people do stupid things.

    People are mostly either born liberal or born conservative. That’s why, while it’s fun to argue about politics, only rarely does anyone ever change their core beliefs. And how smart they are has nothing to do with it.

    There is, by the way, polling data that shows that Mensans are about evenly split as between liberals and conservatives. However, on the subject of religion, the percentage of atheists in Mensa is higher than in the general population by an entire order of magnitude.

    1. I’m sure the seminars you attended were fascinating as well as well attended.

      But pretty much everything else you asserted is horseshit.

    2. ” the subject of why do smart people do stupid things.”

      Common sense isn’t about intelligence. It’s about paying attention. Anybody who isn’t paying attention is likely to make stupid mistakes.

  22. This is ignored and will continue to be ignored. Why? Because Democrats prefer making up and then deciding to believe stories. The factual nature of this information isn’t an emotionally satisfying story for them. They will make up a different story and believe that instead. And they’ll name-call you for not believing their story.

    1. Yep. Because Republicans never believe in myths.

      1. The issue isn’t that Republicans never believe in myths. The issue is that Democrats want us to believe that they, the Democrats, never believe in myths.

        Which obviously isn’t true.

        1. That’s not the issue. The issue is simply making up stories.

          – A study comes out and Dems don’t like it? Make up a story about who must have funded it.
          – Lose an election? Story: Collusion with Russians.
          – Economy not going right for your guy? Story: Business leaders are tanking the economy on purpose to make Obama look bad.
          – Low unemployment under Trump? Story: Everyone is working two or three jobs.
          – want to take over healthcare? Story: medical bankruptcies.
          – want to score by protesting war? Story: War is for oil company profits.
          – lose the election in Georgia? Story: voter suppression.
          – socialism not working in Venezuela? Story: It would be a paradise except for the US being mean.
          – any bad weather? Story: Climate change caused it.
          – borrow money for your house and can’t pay it back? Story: predatory lending.
          – no evidence for impeachment? Story: whichever witness you never heard from has exactly the testimony that would provide it.
          – want to disarm citizens? Story: they’re plotting an attack.

          And then there’s the story about how Trump will nuke [whoever], or steal the election, or whatever else in the future. They love believing stories about what they know will happen in the future.

          1. -Mitt Romney is losing in the polls? Polls are skewed.
            -Trump lost the popular vote? Millions of illegal votes.
            -Economy is going good for Obama? BLS is faking the numbers.
            -Climate change data? Many scientists all have an incentive to lie but oil companies do not.
            -Slavery caused the Civil War and still affects us to this day? States rights and the Civil Rights movement solved everything in the blink of an eye.
            -Racists aren’t always popular online? Twitter is censoring conservatives.
            -Barack Obama is a popular American politician? Born in Kenya secret Muslim Jade Helm.
            -Any good weather? Climate change isn’t real.
            -Lost the election in Arizona? Voter fraud.
            -Democratic Governors were elected in -North Carolina and Wisconsin? “Real Americans“ didn’t vote for them. Also voter fraud.
            -Discrimination exists: you’re causing racism by claiming that.

            Also do you honestly think that people going into debt over medical issues is a made up story?

            1. Can we agree that bad people like Hillary Clinton and CNN newscasters and Alex Jones should stop making up stories? And so should Trump? And others should stop repeating them?

              1. Did you not read what LawTalkingGuy wrote? No, we can’t agree on that.

                Reality has a left bias.

                It is known.

                Nothing can penetrate motivated reasoning, confirmation bias and projection.

            2. I’m glad someone responded with that. Both sides make up a lot of B.S. narratives about the other side. That said, there MSM tends to push one side of those stories, which is why it feels imbalanced to basically anyone from the center to the right.

              That said, yes, the medical bankruptcies is largely a made up story. That’s because a “medical bankruptcy” was any bankruptcy that listed over $1,000 in medical debt, regardless of the rest of the person’s assets and liabilities. That’s just jacking with the numbers to make the situation look worse than it is.

            3. The stuff Ben said is real, the stuff Law said is mostly bullshit. But then, progtards are inherently delusional and dishonest shitweasels.

              1. So, you are a “progtard”, then. Fuck off.

        2. But Republicans want us to believe that too. Why else does Ben Shapiro always like to talk about FACTS AND LOGIC.

    2. “This is ignored and will continue to be ignored. Why? Because Democrats prefer making up and then deciding to believe stories.”

      Just to keep in shape, I tend to look for cases where anyone refers to one side, and only that side, and generalizes about them. Then, I just append “and the same, of course, is also true of the other guys”.

      Almost always right.

      1. Meanwhile the facts of the blog post are still the facts. So no need for “the other side” to make up anything this time.

        I look forward to the general election where we will hear lots of facts about the economy from one side and lots of made up stories from the other.

      2. No Pollock, it isn’t. It’s jut when progressives get cornered on their deficits, they claim ‘both sides’. Otherwise it’s only the other side.

        My far leftist Aunt always does that. Seriously, you people are incredibly disingenuous, when you’re not in the middle of a full delusion. This is why you think you can use the same playbook Venezuela used, and achieve economic success.

        1. “No Pollock, it isn’t.”

          Yes, Shitty, it is.

  23. The general population can’t do significantly better than chance on “does the sun go around the earth?”? Why does anyone support democracy as a system of government???

    1. Because people have a right to govern themselves.

      This isn’t only about finding a pragmatically effective form of govt.

  24. Helpful hint, one does not actually have to respond to crazy people.

  25. The great thing about being a progressive is you are automatically told by our elite betters that it makes you brilliant. You don’t have to actually know a damn thing except who to support politically.

  26. “…less than half of 2016 Clinton supporters (49.6%) are able to answer correctly both of two related questions: whether the earth goes around the sun or the sun goes around the earth (EARTHSUN) ”

    Both the sun and earth orbit their common barycenter.

    Perceptually, this appears as if the earth orbits the sun, as the barycenter lies within the sun. However if perceptions can be forgiven for fact, maybe the sun does rise in the east…

    1. Sigh….

      Given the mass difference and the distance, the barycenter falls deep, deep within the sun. Within 1% of the center of the sun. So, for all common intents and purposes, the earth revolves around the sun. But…it you’re going to be pedantic about it….

      The earth and sun do NOT revolve perfectly around the earth-sun barycenter. That would imply a simple two body rotational problem in classical physicals. Instead, there are actually multiple gravitational bodies (including the moon, Jupiter, and more) which shift the center of rotation from the Earth-sun barycenter. This doesn’t even account for general relativity, which has its own effects on celestial orbital mechanics. So, you’re not right.

      Moral of the story. Don’t be pedantic, there’s always someone who can one-up you if you are.

      1. They’re all orbiting around a giant black hole at the center of the galaxy, as well.

        1. And millions of galaxies throughout the observable universe.

          1. We don’t have enough observation data to make that conclusion.

  27. If by evolution you mean the way that organisms adapt to changes in the environment, it is reasonably objective science.

    But if by evolution you mean to tell me that science has any idea about the actual origins of species, then, I have to tell you that you’re not being reasonable nor objective.

    There is as of yet nothing resembling a scientific explanation for why there is something instead of nothing.

    1. “If by evolution you mean the way that organisms adapt to changes in the environment, it is reasonably objective science.”

      What you’re describing is Lysenkoism, which is not any kind of science.

  28. I think the observation is that Republicans have a higher mean, with Democrats being over-represented at both ends of the distribution.

  29. Jim,

    How’s the Obama-mandated child slave labor force you promised us doing?

    Can you guess what forced me to accept the sad reality that your prediction was deranged? If Obama really did have America’s schoolchildren toiling away at hard labor all those years, they’d have become easily strong enough to overpower their captors at Hillary’s pizzeria pedophile whorehouse.

    Welcome back, Jim. Your post is a blast from the VC past.

    1. Professor Lindgren: you know you’ve struck a nerve when someone brings a completely non-related issue, that happened years ago, to the forefront just to score some points.

      1. Professor Somin: you know you’ve struck a nerve when someone…

  30. Trump Supporters Score Higher on Verbal Ability Tests
    howz kin dat bees whenz we’s alls deplooribill rednekz?
    At least according to Hillary Cinton The View, CNN, and MSNBC!

    1. Most of them are Birthers. How about you?
      (Only a redneck would ass-ume verbal ability equate to MENTAL ability)

      1. Hihn, why do you bother with sock puppets. They’re all incredibly obvious. The crap you write is immediately recognizable. That you still use all these socks after being told this over and over makes you look an even bigger idiot.

        1. I’m betting they eventually get blocked, so he has to assume a new identity in order to post. That’s where more socks come from.

  31. ” less than half of 2016 Clinton supporters (49.6%) are able to answer correctly both of two related questions: whether the earth goes around the sun or the sun goes around the earth (EARTHSUN)”

    How was this question scored?

    ” Remember these two questions are multiple choice! You would have a 50-50 chance of guessing correctly on the first part”

    No, you have 0% chance of guessing correctly, because the correct answer is not among the choices.

    1. No, you have 0% chance of guessing correctly, because the correct answer is not among the choices.

      Galileo called and wants the last 10 years of his life back.

      Regardless of what hair you feel like you’re cleverly splitting, there’s clearly a FAR more correct and a FAR less correct answer between the two choices. It’s almost as though you’re reaching for a distraction.

      1. “Galileo called and wants the last 10 years of his life back. ”

        Tell him to call Newton, and quit whining.

        “Regardless of what hair you feel like you’re cleverly splitting”

        I’m cleverly splitting the hair that two answers are offered, and both of them are incorrect, and the correct answer is not offered. If this is too complex for you…

        If you ask the question “which of these was the first US President?” and offer choices of A. Franklin, B. Jefferson, C. Lincoln, and D. Adams, there’s clearly a FAR more correct answer and a FAR less correct answer. But none of the offered answers is actually correct. And scoring people who didn’t select any of the four incorrect answers as “wrong” doesn’t help anyone who knows better have confidence in your results.

        1. If you are being a pedant about the sun and earth co-orbiting the barycenter of the two objects… please. You are being ridiculous.

          The barycenter of the earth-sun system is like 450 km from the center of the sun – an object that is nearly 1.4 million km in diameter.

          The earth goes around the sun. That the sun wobbles by 450 km in this system is irrelevant.

      1. Pollock has always been a wacko liar.
        Ask him how many of Trump’s core base are Birthers. (Nearly all)

        1. “Ask him how many of Trump’s core base are Birthers. ”

          How, exactly, would he know, and why, exactly, should he care?

          1. The voices in his head tell him that. Hihn is completely insane! And posts here throughout his manic episodes.

      2. “Um…what?”

        For the slow, the problem with this question is that two answers are offered, and both of them are incorrect. Making judgments about people based on which incorrect answer they choose to a question is not a particularly reliable way to go about that task.

  32. My working theory is that partisans of any type tend to be poor at critical thinking.

  33. I could rely on this contribution to a polemically partisan (and astoundingly white and male) right-wing blog, or I could consider

    (1) birthers, who are bigots, slack-jaws, and half of Republicans

    (2) the striking illiteracy (random capitalization, Tea Party spelling, disdain for standard English) of Trump and his supporters

    (3) widely reported educational attributes of Trump supporters (who are less educated in number — fewer degrees — and quality — the effect of fourth-tier and unranked backwater religious schools)

    and similar points and conclude that the goobers and yahoos who deride “elites” and tend to have stuck with declining communities and dying industries against all evidence are not likely to be smarter than people who valued education, arranged marketable skills, chose modern and successful communities, and have avoided becoming stale-thinking, gay-bashing, immigrant-bashing, Muslim-bashing, superstitious bigots.

    If Prof. Lindgren wishes to contend that birthers are not bigoted slack-jaws, or that a staggering number of Republicans and conservatives and Trump voters were/are birthers, he is welcome to try to make that case.

    1. Do you have a citation for your contention that half of republicans are birthers?

      1. Do you have a citation for your contention that half of republicans are birthers?

        It’s more! 51% is the LOWEST poll.

        This is the highest:

        https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/poll-persistent-partisan-divide-over-birther-question-n627446

        Seventy-two percent of registered Republican voters still doubt President Obama’s citizenship, according to a recent NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll conducted in late June and early July of more than 1,700 registered voters. And this skepticism even exists among Republicans high in political knowledge.

        Also see part 2

        1. It’s also an online poll (which are notoriously off) of a group that’s not necessarily a cross-section of voters generally:

          “The NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll was conducted from June 27 through July 5, 2016 online among a national sample of 2,201 adults aged 18 and over (+/-2.5), 645 registered Republicans including leaners (+/-4.4), and 840 registered Democrats including leaners (+/- 3.9). Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day.”

    2. Don’t you tire of repeating the same old tropes over and over again?

      1. See above, Goober

  34. Haven’t seen a classic Lindgren in some time.

    Lindgren: My Trump team is much smarter than the other team because sub-Daubert analysis.

    99% of Commenters: We Trump supporters really are smarter than the other side.

    Profound.

    1. Witty, but doesn’t really address the points. Care to do that?

      1. Fine.

        Lindgren is trying to imply a causal link, ie that smart people choose Conservatism and Trump.

        What he actually found is that black people (and other poor minorities) overwhelmingly back Democrats and also do poorly on standardized tests.

        As for the whole Don Lemon fracas he was laughing because Trump is a ridiculously dumb human being, and the lies and excuses made by his administration are absurdly transparent.

        A Trump supporter who buys Pompeo’s claim that the reporter couldn’t find Ukraine deserves to be made fun of. That the guest then made a Southern accent to continue the mockery is unfortunate and wrong. But lets be serious. If a Fox News commentator did the same no one would even notice.

        1. But Lindgren’s claim that Lemon is the bigot is based on what LINDGREN says is NOT great data,

          And we KNOW most Trump supporters are Birthers. How “intelligent” is that?

        2. Where does Prof. Lindgren try to imply a causal link?

          Isn’t he responding to the whole Don Lemon fracas by pointing out that actual data don’t support the caricature? Even if what you say about blacks and other poor minorities is true you do not appear to be disputing Lindgren.

          I don’t think anyone is wiser for your analysis of Don Lemon’s laughter. And if we’re being serious, almost any Fox News commentator is likely far more noticeable than a commentator on Don Lemon’s show on CNN given the networks’ viewer figures.

          1. Isn’t he responding to the whole Don Lemon fracas by pointing out that actual data don’t support the caricature?

            Read it again, Skippy

            We don’t have great data on the intelligence of Trump supporters, but the best available

            Ratings cannot change Lindgren’s shoddy scholarship.

            1. Your post may be above mine as displayed, but I’m clearly replying to aluchko.

              Your reply to me reads like a toddler trying to tell me about a dream he had.

              Were you aiming to show intelligence and/or scholarship superior to Lindgren’s? If so, BIG miss.

          2. By using a rhetorical trick.

            Consider the statement: “Fooites score 80% on a standard literacy test while Barites score only 20%”

            You’d obviously meant to assume that Fooites are much better educated and sophisticated than Barites, even though the statement never said that explicitly. But now consider that the ‘standard literacy test’ was written in Fooish, and the first language of Barites is Barish. Well now that statement has led you to a wildly inaccurate belief.

            Which is what Lindgren is doing, misleadingly presenting the evidence so that readers draw the wrong conclusion.

            Leaving out the demographic data that caused the difference is a lie of omission.

  35. So, how did Libertarians score on the General Social Survey?

    1. Nobody cared, because there aren’t enough of them.

    2. The survey used voters and all the libertarians were still in middle school.

  36. Interesting that Jim Lindgren would add up some numbers himself rather than use an already peer-reviewed study. Perhaps it contradicts his opinion piece. “Reason” indeed.

    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1948550618800494

    ABSTRACT: Using data from the American National Election Studies, we investigated the relationship between cognitive ability and attitudes toward and actual voting for presidential candidates in the 2012 and 2016 U.S. presidential elections (i.e., Romney, Obama, Trump, and Clinton). Isolating this relationship from competing relationships, results showed that verbal ability was a significant negative predictor of support and voting for Trump (but not Romney) and a positive predictor of support and voting for Obama and Clinton. By comparing within and across the election years, our analyses revealed the nature of support for Trump, including that support for Trump was better predicted by lower verbal ability than education or income. In general, these results suggest that the 2016 U.S. presidential election had less to do with party affiliation, income, or education and more to do with basic cognitive ability.

    1. The same data that Lindgren used also showed this. Funny how he also ‘missed’ it:

      IQ
      White Trump voters — 100.0
      White Clinton voters — 105.5

      1. I didn’t “miss” these data because these supposed IQ scores are not in the 1972-2018 GSS datafile.

        See my comments below and tell us where you ACTUALLY got these bogus IQ scores, because you didn’t get them directly from the GSS. Perhaps you got them from someone using lower quality data or from someone who doesn’t know how to use the GSS.

    2. The study you cite, using data from the Am Natl. Election Study (ANES), does not provide any evidence on whether those who voted for Trump or intend to vote for Trump score higher on the verbal ability scale. Though my analysis in my main post here was based on the General Social Survey, not the ANES, the Ganzach study you cite does not describe or analyze how Trump voters or intended Trump voters score on verbal ability tests. They instead look at 100-point thermometer ratings on whether you feel “warm” or “cold” about Trump and Clinton.

      Even then, their regressions do not tell you how well Trump warmers scored on verbal ability tests, but rather how well Trump warmers would score if all these things were true: blacks felt warmly about Trump at the same level as non-blacks, non-whites felt warmly about Trump at the same level as whites, Hispanics felt warmly about Trump at the same level as non-Hispanics, people with lower incomes felt warmly about Trump at the same level as people with higher incomes, and so on.

      Of course, none of these things are likely to be true. Such a bizarre world may be of interest to some academics, but it tells us virtually nothing about the real world in which, for example, blacks are not anywhere near as likely to feel warmly toward Trump as non-blacks, let alone vote for Trump.

      Last night, before I saw your comment tonight, I analyzed the same 2016 ANES database as the Ganzach study uses. In the 2016 ANES (weighted by V160101), these are the results on WORDSUM:

      Already Voted for Trump: 7.02 words correct
      Already Voted for Clinton: 6.72 words correct

      Intend to Vote for Trump: 6.97
      Intend to Vote for Clinton: 6.94

      Do not Intend to Vote but Preference for Trump: 5.37
      Do not Intend to Vote but Preference for Clinton: 5.40

      OVERALL (combined):
      Trump: 6.97
      Clinton: 6.93

      None of these differences are statistically significant.

      So in the same 2016 ANES that the study you cite analyzed so strangely, Trump voters score insignificantly higher on verbal ability than Clinton voters. As far as I can tell so far, there is no evidence in the Ganzach study you cite or in the 2016 ANES study that they used that in any way supports the conclusion that Trump voters or intended voters score lower on the WORDSUM verbal ability test than Clinton voters or intended voters, On the contrary, the available evidence suggests a very slight, insignificant advantage for Trump voters and intended voters.

      I suspect that almost everyone who read the Ganzach study or its abstract would have assumed (as you quite reasonably did) that it showed that Trump voters or intended voters score hugely lower on verbal ability tests. Indeed, I have to wonder why they didn’t provide any evidence at all on this issue, given that most readers would assume that their study addresses precisely this question. I think your concerns about whether data have been fairly and sensibly analyzed would be better raised about the Ganzach study than about my post.

      1. It’s a peer-reviewed study, yours is an op piece w/cherry-picked data. Scour the data, do a study and have it printed in an academic peer-reviewed journal…or just do an op piece, whatever’s easier for you.

  37. Not terribly surprising, since the Democratic Party tends to attract the so-called disadvantaged. I’d be more interested in a comparison of Democrat vs Republican politicians.

  38. “Even without looking at the data, it would be surprising if there were any VERY LARGE differences in intelligence between the average Trump supporter and the rest of the general public.”

    Apparently Lindgren missed the data from GSS that showed the following:

    IQ rates (non-hispanic whites)
    White Trump voters — 100.0
    White Clinton voters — 105.5

    1. You seem to imply that I was not being straightforward because I should have reported some purported data from the GSS that you claim I “missed.”

      1. First, I don’t know where you got these bogus data, but you didn’t get them from the General Social Survey. The GSS does not compute IQ scores.

      I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have not fraudulently made up these scores. But the scores you report are not in the GSS. If they were, you would be able to tell us the name of the GSS IQ variable (with mean IQ scores near 100, no less). I am certain that such a variable doesn’t exist in the 1972-2018 GSS cumulative datafile.

      I suspect that you got these numbers somewhere other than the GSS, perhaps from someone using lower quality data or from someone who doesn’t know how to use the GSS (e.g., it’s a household survey and needs to be properly weighted if you are studying individuals).

      About IQ-derived analogical reasoning questions, the GSS codebook says:

      “Some of the respondents may . . . ask if you are administering an intelligence test. You should respond that we are not testing their IQ. That’s not possible. IQ involves many different skills; it takes a long time to assess and can only be assessed by trained psychologists.”

      So the GSS says that it doesn’t have an IQ variable. You may have gotten these bogus mean IQ scores from somewhere, but you certainly didn’t get them from the 1972-2018 GSS cumulative datafile.

      2. You quote me correctly above, but the bogus evidence you present doesn’t negate or even address the claim I made. I said that “it would be surprising if there were any VERY LARGE differences in intelligence between the average Trump supporter and the rest of the general public.”

      So you present 2 supposed IQ scores. Neither is for “the average Trump supporter.” Neither is for “the rest of the general public.” Even if your data were real, which they aren’t, neither of your means are for either of the two groups that I said would be expected not to have VERY LARGE differences. Your data instead purport to be for non-Hispanic White Trump Supporters and non-Hispanic White Clinton supporters.

      3. If someone rescaled WORDSUM into a variable with a mean of 100 points and a standard deviation of 15, then I would expect that non-Hispanic white Trump supporters would indeed score significantly lower than non-Hispanic white Clinton supporters, but I expect that the difference would be closer to 3 points than the 5 points that your bogus data reports.

      Now how would that change the results in my post? It doesn’t make the average Clinton supporter any higher scoring or the average Trump supporter any lower scoring on the verbal ability test.

      4. Everyone makes mistakes (certainly I do), but the mean IQ scores you report are not means from any actual IQ variable in the 1972-2018 GSS cumulative datafile, because it doesn’t have one. And if they are from someone who over-interpreted the WORDSUM variable, I think the differences you report are erroneously high (but in the correct direction).

      Perhaps you should disclose where you got these data because I don’t think that you could have gotten them directly from the GSS.

      1. Tap dance away. I’ll say this you know, as a sociologist, that there are several peer-reviewed studies showing Trump supporters as less educated and less knowledgeable. You didn’t use them. I wonder why? I think we know.

        1. I’ll translate:

          V.Kane: I concede. I pulled that out of my butt. But I still declare victory!

          In it’s defense, there are routinely articles in the popular press where some professor of political science or women’s studies, etc. at some small college does a study where they prove that Republicans/Conservatives are scientifically proven to be more (stupid, illiterate, scientifically ignorant, etc.) than those brilliant Progressive/Democrats. Usually these involve knowledge of progressive talking points, particularly on things like climate change.

          These are usually quite obviously examples of motivated reasoning in action and are very poor quality studies. But they do get a lot of attention. And even in places that should know better, they are still somewhat embraced. The Skeptic’s Guide has debunked several of these over the years…. while still giggling and agreeing with the conclusions. Because everyone – even a skeptic – loves to have their biases confirmed.

        2. I wrote:

          “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have not fraudulently made up these scores. But the scores you report are not in the GSS. If they were, you would be able to tell us the name of the GSS IQ variable (with mean IQ scores near 100, no less). I am certain that such a variable doesn’t exist in the 1972-2018 GSS cumulative datafile.”

          Are you really not going to tell us where you got the data, because you falsely claimed to have gotten IQ scores from the GSS?

          Or are you trying to indicate to us that you made up the data?

          After all, you said I “missed” these IQ scores in the GSS, but I didn’t.

          I’m frankly puzzled. Why bother commenting if you’re just trying to bluff people?

    1. (I really can’t believe that nobody posted that meme to this thread. Kinda obligatory ’round these parts)

  39. An excellent article, however …

    “If, however, you asked about beliefs, rather than knowledge, on evolution and the origins of the universe you would get substantially better answers on individual science questions from Clinton supporters than Trump supporters.”

    Better answers about beliefs?

    1. Absolutely…. the left believes the right things.

      It is known.

    2. “Better answers about beliefs?”

      Evolution is a readily demonstrated fact. See, for example, the existence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. (I mean, it’s readily demonstrated for people who don’t explain everything by saying “God wanted it that way, that’s why”.)

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