Recently my wife asked me how stupid Republicans were. I made a comment to the effect that Republicans weren’t that stupid compared to Democrats. But…I hadn’t checked in a while. So I decided to look at the WORDSUM results in the GSS.
WORDSUM is a 10-word vocabulary test that has a 0.71 correlation with IQ.
I crossed WORDSUM with PARTYID and merged the different Republican and Democratic groups together. I looked at Republicans and Democrats, and then also filtered it by just non-Hispanic whites. The date range goes from 1974 to 2018.
As you can see, on the whole, Independents are less intelligent than Republicans and Democrats. This makes sense, as moderates are less intelligent than conservatives and liberals. Though there are plenty of bright people “in the middle,” many times Independents and moderates are just not very smart and don’t have any strong views and principles.
The pattern for Republicans and Democrats makes historical sense. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Republican party was the party of the upscale. This began to change in the 1990s, and in the 2000s a realignment began as many very educated individuals tended to become strongly identified with Republicans. But, there was still parity between non-Hispanic white Republicans and non-Hispanic white Democrats into the early teens. But over the last few years among non-Hispanic whites, the vocabulary scores of Democrats have been increasing and that of Republicans has been decreasing.
None of this is entirely surprising. I simply hadn’t bothered to check the GSS in many years on this topic. But the Republican party’s shift to being the downscale faction is clearly being reflected in these results.
Table below the fold.
|Year||Democrat||Independent||Republican||NHWhite Democrat||NHWhite Independent||NHWhite Republican|
(I still identify as a Republican and on the “Right” for what it’s worth)