Neither group sets the world on fire with its erudition, but Republicans tend to be more knowledgeable about current events than Democrats, according to a new survey conducted between Jan. 14 and Jan. 17:

Out of the 12 multiple-choice questions asked in a Pew Research Center phone survey of more than 1,000 adults, Republicans answered an average of about 6 questions correctly compared with 5 for Democrats.

On some questions, the knowledge gap was particularly wide:

Republicans trounced Democrats on a question about the percent of U.S. imports of oil that we consume. Nearly 70 percent of Republicans knew the answer to be two-thirds, while just over half of Democrats got that one correct.

But this juicy little datum was far-and-away my favorite:

One of the largest gaps between political parties showed up in a question of who leads the U.S. Senate. About half of Republicans could identify Nevada Senator Harry Reid as the current majority leader, while only a third of Democrats could do the same, even though Reid is their own party’s Senate leader.

Here’s a table breaking down all the answers by political affiliation:

So, perhaps this is why you can’t get your Democrat friends to discuss current events seriously. Maybe they clam up or become defensive because they just don’t have a clue.

Comments 3

  1. Bill wrote:

    food for thought

    Posted 30 Jan 2010 at 5:12 pm
  2. Ruth Skidmore wrote:

    My brother is a typical Democrat. Can only repeat what he hears on CNN.

    Posted 30 Jan 2010 at 8:28 pm
  3. rjjrdq wrote:

    Wow, I thought that stuff was common knowledge. stunning, no matter what your affiliation.

    Posted 01 Feb 2010 at 10:20 pm

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