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.