John on February 3, 2010 at 10:18 am
John Ziegler highlights a new poll by Pew that looks at what Americans know about current events. Before you read about the results why not take the poll yourself. It’s just 12 questions and takes about 2 minutes.
How’d you do?
If you’re a regular VS reader, probably a lot better than most Americans. As Ziegler notes, 13% of respondents failed to get even two right, a score which one should be able to get by guessing. Only 2% got all 12 right. Here’s the breakdown by question:
Scroll down the page and you’ll find this heading:
Republicans More Knowledgeable on Many Issues
Republicans, on average, answered one more question correctly than Democrats (5.9 vs. 4.9 correct). These differences are partly a reflection of the demographics of the two groups; Republicans tend to be older, well educated and male, which are characteristics associated with political and economic knowledge. Still, even when these factors are held constant, Republicans do somewhat better than Democrats on the knowledge quiz.
Here’s the graph that shows the split:
So the Republicans match or beat the Dems on every question but the one about identity politics. Fitting. And just a reminder, here’s the split Pew found in October 2009 when it ran a similar poll:
John Ziegler comes to a fairly cynical conclusion about all this:
Politically, the evidence is overwhelming that elections are not remotely decided by issues or substance. Hollywood has long ago discovered just how unintelligent the average American really is and has done a suburb job of exploiting that reality. Politicians have been a little slower in coming to this realization but the remarkable success of an Obama campaign that pulled off an historic upset on little more than “Hope” and “Change,” certainly indicates that the “ignorance awareness” gap between D.C. and Los Angeles is quickly closing.
In fact he sounds a lot like unhinged leftie Joe Klein, who recently wrote that Americans were too dumb for self governance:
[I]t is impossible to run a democracy without active, interested citizens. We have too few of those right now.
While the poll does offer some support for both John and Joe, it’s certainly worth noting that young, female, Democrats — that is to say, all of Obama’s core supporters — are the least likely to know what they are talking about.
Category: Politics |