2009 May 17 Sunday
IQ And Voting For The Dominant Party

Audacious Epigone finds some interesting patterns while looking at General Social Survey (GSS) results that serve as rough proxy for intellectual ability along with voting results. Democrats in New England are smarter than Republicans but this pattern does not hold in the rest of the country.

First, I should point out that during the Bush years, in aggregate Republicans are smarter than Democrats are (with IQ scores converted from Wordsum results of 100.5 and 98.6, respectively--independents are lower than either, at 95.3). This holds in every region of the country except for New England, where Democrats average 4.9 IQ points higher than Republicans do*.


By region, white Republicans in red states are a little more intelligent than white Democrats are. In blue states, it is the reverse, with white Democrats being smarter than white Republicans. The correlation between Obama's level of white support and the average white Democrat's IQ advantage over the average white Republican's is .72 (p=.03) at the regional level. This provides some explanation for why people in the Northeast may see the GOP as the party of rustic dummies while those in the South see it as the party of merit and prosperity.

What I wonder: How much of this pattern is due to smart Republicans leaving New England for other regions of the country? I look at California where higher income Republicans are more unhappy with the taxes and regulation. So the Republicans have bigger incentives to leave. This makes the remaining smart people more left leaning.

Also, if you are ambitious and want to get involved in politics there's also a real incentive to get involved in the political party that is dominant in your area. If you put your efforts into supporting the party which consistently loses elections then your chances of holding real power are much lower.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 May 17 11:16 PM  Politics Identity

Dragon Horse said at May 19, 2009 9:06 AM:

For Randall:

"U.S. to Expand Immigration Checks to All Local Jails"


Lou Pagnucco said at May 19, 2009 9:50 AM:

More interesting would be a comparison of Republican or Democratic party loyalists' intelligence versus those who regard the entire system as a Punch-and-Judy confidence game.

Audacious Epigone said at May 21, 2009 8:18 AM:


People who vote third party in Presidential elections score higher on the Wordsum test than people who vote Republican or Democrat do.

Lou Pagnucco said at May 21, 2009 7:52 PM:

Interesting, Audacious E.

Too bad everyone gets the governments that the R&D's deserve.

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