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June 26, 2006

Comments

Don't see what that proves. The smartest people in the regions could have voted for Bush, but the rest could have voted for Kerry, and if they voted in Wisconsin, or illinois or New York, could have done so multiple times.

How could the Dems have become more intelligent? This is a party that nominated Kerry, for heavens sakes, have Howard Dean as their chariman, thnk the NY Times is unbiased, and kow tow to the likes of Kos and Michael Moore.

1. When you add in minorities, the parties come out fairly even.

2. I suspect Blue State Republicans tend to have quite high incomes and pretty high IQs. I wonder what the mean income of registered Republicans in Manhattan is: $250,000?

3. Maybe you could check out a theory of mine using the GSS data: The higher one's educational credentials relative to one's income, the more likely to vote Democratic one is. And vice-versa for Republicans.

Something else I've noticed is that people who are better at verbal than at non-verbal reasoning tend to be more liberal. (For example, I attended Rice U. in the 1970s, where the average Math SAT score was a lot higher than the average Verbal SAT score and, for the times and the high average overall SAT scores, it was quite conservative.) So, this would make the vocabulary test measure skew toward liberalism.

Not that a vocabulary test isn't a good quickie IQ test. It is, but it does have a political bias that's relevant here.

Steve, actually a regression analysis shows just the opposite. Over all the years in the dataset, a Bachelor's degree causes Republicanism, while those who obtain a Graduate degree have most of the Republicanism removed. In that regression, the vocabular test had little independent effect, however, IQ strongly predicts whether one will obtain advanced education.

But in 2004 thing reversed, and having a high score on the vocabulary test is primarily what made one more likely to be Democratic, while having a bachelor's degree once again made one slightly more likely to Republican.

I suspect that GWB disproportinately turns off high IQ voters compared to other presidents.

HS,

You need to include minorities. Considering that whites are less than 50% of the Democrat voters, any connection between Democrats and white IQ is very suspect.

It wouldn't change anything superdestroyer. More intelligent blacks live in the same regions as more intelligent whites.

"Race" on the GSS is only "white," "black," and "other." The majority of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and American Indians call themselves "white" on that question. So "white" alrady includes non-black "minorities."

HS,

You argument would be much stronger if you broke into counties. Illinois is an example of a blue state that is in reality, one overwhelming blue county is a state with a majority of red counties.

You could improve your argument if you included blacks into you data but you would lose your argument that Democrats (on average) are smarter when the most likely group to vote Democrat are high school drop outs.

I don't quite get the significance of all the different shades of blue and red in the table,but then again, I'm from Georgia, and white (or so my parents have always told me) so I guess it comes as no surprise

ps: I was able to figure out the percentages (with the help of some friends from New England).

but you would lose your argument that Democrats (on average) are smarter when the most likely group to vote Democrat are high school drop outs.

say what? do you have an IQ cut off for posters half sigma? this poster seems to conflate modes with means. what part of the country do you live in superdestroyer?

also, re: their previous comment, 15 seconds checking national exit polls suggests that 66% of those who voted for john kerry were white. even accounting for all the problems with these polls, that isn't likely to change too much.

but i think steve's comment about decomposing the trends within region are important. even very blue states have large red minorities.

The current version of the GOP is Christian Fundamentalist in form but Globalist and anti-national in content. Hard to vote for such a party without the sensation of being snookered.

"I wonder what the mean income of registered Republicans in Manhattan is: $250,000?"

Correct. One of them has an income of $200,000, the other one has an income of $300,000, so the mean is $250,000.

"Over all the years in the dataset, a Bachelor's degree causes Republicanism, while those who obtain a Graduate degree have most of the Republicanism removed."

Many holders of graduate degrees are people in the public/human services fields, such as teachers (who often have to get master's degrees), social workers, and those in similar jobs.

I think that the NAEP data

http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/

confirms Half-Sigma's assertions, but with much more nuance. Based on the NAEP it looks to me like the literacy of the median person in the north and in the south are similar but like there is roughly a 1/2 standard deviation advantage for Northerners more than 1SD above or below the average.

I want to point out that if we want to try to figure out if a policy is a good idea, the fact that intelligent people favor that policy is storng evidence that it is, but the fact that stupid people favor that policy is no evidence at all one way or another. Evedentially, the average IQ of a party is pretty worthless, but the voting direction of an average person of IQ 120+ is quite significant.

Half-Sigma. Could you publish seperate data on the behavior of the people who had vocabulary scores of 10? Even that probably only indicates the vocabulary of the average student in a 4th tier university, but I'm much more interested in the consensus among WORDSUM 10s than among WORDSUM 8s and 9s. I'd be even more interested in WORDSUM 10 Atheists/Agnostics. Please include any other descriptors that you think might correlate with higher intelligence (due to education dilution, I wouldn't include graduate degree, but I would include MD or JD if those are options).

Michael: "Could you publish seperate data on the behavior of the people who had vocabulary scores of 10? Even that probably only indicates the vocabulary of the average student in a 4th tier university,"

Only 18.3% of college graduates scored 10 on Wordsum, compared to 5.9% of the whole sample. But at elite colleges, the majority of the student body would score 10, a conclusion based on the difference in median SAT scores of elite vs. average colleges.

Because only 1,286 respondents in all years of the GSS scored 10, and because most of the interesting questions are only asked during some years and/or to a subset of respondents, the data is kind of shaky, which is why I have been aggregating 8-10 or 9-10.

"I want to point out that if we want to try to figure out if a policy is a good idea, the fact that intelligent people favor that policy is storng evidence that it is, but the fact that stupid people favor that policy is no evidence at all one way or another. Evedentially, the average IQ of a party is pretty worthless, but the voting direction of an average person of IQ 120+ is quite significant."

I have my doubts. Smart people may vote for policies that disproportionately help them and hurt stupid people (to take a ridiculous example, paying everyone their IQ score.) This might be wrong from the point of view of nationalism, social justice, free-marketry, or what have you.

Also, given the difficulty of predicting the future...

I do, personally, think Bush is an idiot and smart people are right to oppose him. But that's one case and can't be generalized.

SciFiGeek
Other than the effects of communism, can you name one factual belief regarding which the consensus among the IQ 130 set has EVER been less accurate than that among the IQ 100 set? I might give you some environmental issues (Ozone? Organic farming?) if I believed that the IQ 100 set had ever even been cognizant of those issues.

"Over the course of 144 years, the regions represented by the two parties have completely flipped!"

This hoary ol' chestnut... if you look a little closer, the cities that voted for Kerry chose Douglas in 1860. The rural areas in the Northeast and Midwest went for Lincoln in 1860 and Bush in 2004.

"Every single one of the 11 states of the Confederacy voted for Bush in 2004."

And every single one of them voted for Franklin Delano Roosevelt four times, in some cases giving him over 95%. The more intelligent "Yankee" counties-- indeed, almost every rural county east and north of Pittsburgh-- rejected him four times. (Seven times in the case of most New York counties.) By 1938 hundreds of Midwest counties joined them in disgust.

By your standard, voting for FDR would have been a sign of marginal retardation.

...and I neglected to mention the Sixteenth Amendment, which we celebrate every April 15th. Nine of the eleven Confederate states ratified it, most near the front of the line. Of the six New England states, three rejected it outright, and two others waited until after the amendment was in force before offering their belated (and rather pointless) ratifications.

So if you want evidence that New England is smarter than the CSA, well, there it is!

I'm sure New England is the smartest area on average and the South is more working-class and not as bright on average. Still, even in blue states, many people voted for Bush. In New Jersey, Bush got a majority of the white votes. Were these the dumber whites or the smarter ones? Who knows, but I have a hard time thinking that the brightest among us all support policies which lead to society's moral decay, like the Democratic Party does.

Sorry, you misinterpreted my theory. What I'm proposing is that if you create a scatter plot of income on the vertical axis and educational credentials on the horizontal axis, you'll have a best fit line sloping upward from the lower left to the upper right. My theory is that more Republicans will be found above the best fit line (having more income than educational credentials would predict) and more Democrats below the best fit line (having less income than their educational credentials would predict.

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