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Validation of an old political joke of mine

SEATTLE, Washington - At various times over the last decade or so, I've joked that for the portion of the population that consistently votes with one of the two major parties, the smartest 25% and the dumbest 25% vote Democrat, and the 50% in the middle vote Republican.

We have a small and highly flawed validation of this distribution at the Secular Right blog. The author took scores from a test and mapped the respondents into four categories (Secular Right, Secular Left, Religious Right, Religious Left). As it happened, the Secular Left came out the smartest and the Religious Left came out the dumbest.

It's a simple exercise and there are a gazillion flaws, including its use of a ten-question vocabulary test as a measure of IQ. Of course, it also assumes a simple bipolar ideological spectrum that most libertarians (and other people actually thinking for themselves) would dismiss as inadequate, but our whole national political dialogue makes this error.

Still, it was mildly interesting that the results matched my lighthearted observation.


Christine said...

I love, love the idea! Very cool! Too bad they didn't have a more legitimate IQ test like you mentioned.

And I don't know about the religious right versus the lower spectrum Democrats. I don't know if I would be so sure if there was a true IQ test. It could go either way.