Purple states smarter than reds and blues

At least, that’s the uncomfortable conclusion of blue-state writer who wanted to prove that such folk were smarter than red-staters:

To get to the bottom of things, I had my assistant Una dump McDaniel’s state IQ numbers into a spreadsheet, weight them by population, and then divide them into three groups: red for states consistently choosing Republicans in the last three presidential elections; blue for always voting Democratic; and purple for swing states.

Result: average IQ for red states vs. blue states was essentially the same (red 99, blue 99.5). Conclusions: Are liberals smarter than conservatives? Some social scientists sure think so. Are blue states smarter than red states? Sadly for us cyanophiles, no.

But here’s the most significant data point, I think: in the purple states — the ones that swung back and forth — the average IQ according to Una’s spreadsheet was 100.9, appreciably above that for either the blue states or red states. In other words — and this has the shock of truth — the people in the purple states weren’t rigidly liberal or conservative, but rather had enough on the ball to consider the choices before them and occasionally change their minds.

So, it comes down to what I’ve been telling y’all over and over: We swing voters are the people who actually think about our votes. It stands to reason that places where we predominate would be smarter.

I’ll bet his assistant, Una, is one of us. Bet she’s good-looking, too.

This inspires a possible tagline for the UnParty: “We’re way smarter than the rest of y’all.”

OK, so it could use some work. For instance, the word “y’all” might be over the heads of folks in blue states.

But it’s a start…

5 thoughts on “Purple states smarter than reds and blues

  1. Silence

    Those are probably not statistically significant differences. The take away from this is to remind us that 100 was assigned as the statistical mean IQ, and that 1/2 of the people walking around in the world have an IQ in the double digits. Not that IQ really counts for much, anyway.

  2. bud

    We swing voters are the people who actually think about our votes.

    I would call it psuedo thinking. Or perhaps rationalizing. Voting (or even endorsing) George W. Bush in 2004 or John McCain in 2008, not to mention Mark Sanford the first time around, hardly qualifies as deep-thinking.

    You miss an important point on this. The GOP is not a viable choice anymore. With the possible exception of Jon Huntsman none of the GOP candidates for president were even remotely someone I could support. I only voted Saturday out of boredom and a curiosity about who the other voters were. You can be a deep-thinker all you want but at the end of the day it really doesn’t take much reflection to pull the Democratic lever. Other than Alvin Greene that would have given the best candidate for the major offices up for grabs the last few elections going back to Jim Hodges re-election bid.

  3. David Carlton

    Oh, please. Most “swing voters” are that way because they’re low-information voters who don’t engage with the process and go with “criteria” like name recognition. Few of them are like you, Brad; most engaged people [including most “independents,” as people who’ve actually studied them will tell you] are in fact partisans, even if they deny it. They recognize that one has to have parties in order to organize government and present clear alternatives to voters. Your “nonpartisanship” is just another name for “Never mind attempting to have a voice; just let us guys in the club handle everything. Parties just get in our way.”

    And, really–you actually think that 100.9 is a high IQ number? IQ scores are normed to 100, and all of these states have people all over the IQ map; the fact that there are a few more high-IQ people in “purple” states than elsewhere is hardly enough to explain mass voting behavior. And that’s assuming that IQ measures much of anything.

  4. `Kathryn Fenner

    FWIW: Purple State voters are not necessarily purple–could just mean an even mix of blue and red voters–not you fence-sitters. It’s the competition that makes them sharper…..


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