Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ideology measured

I took this survey ...
FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: A Nation Neither United Nor Divided

... The CAP survey posed 40 political and ideological statements to a group of 1,400 American adults, and asked them whether or not they agreed with them. You can answer the questions for yourself here; they cover a wide range of topics in the areas of economic and domestic policy, foreign affairs, societal and 'values' issues, and the proper role of government. Although benchmark surveys of political ideology are nothing new, this is one of the most comprehensive and best-constructed efforts that I've seen...
I scored 239/400. Interestingly that's supposed to make me "very progressive", but the average score is 210. So a 10% above average score makes one "very progressive"?!

That seems suspicious, but it turns out that the range of American scores is only between 160 and 247!

So Americans very tightly bunched around the "200" score, which is kind of odd. It suggests that people may have very strong opinions in selected areas, but very few people have very strong opinions that are all aligned to one extreme or another.

I fall out as somewhere between "Democrat" and "Liberal Democrat". Some of the questions were internally illogical however, I would have answered "none of the above" if I could have.

Things get weird on the extremes. The average Obama voter scored 244 and average McCain voter scored 169? That's an amazingly polarized electorate.

I'm having trouble making sense of this ...

1 comment:

Youngil Ely Loew said...

Interesting... I scored a 173 but voted for Obama. I wonder what that means. I was swindled by his charm? LOL. anyway, it's a very interesting survey. Not sure what to make of it either.