Uncommon Knowledge

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press runs a regular poll / quiz of what the public actually know about current events. The most recent edition (from 1-4 October of this year, available here for those interested in seeing where they fall in the continuum) has just been published:

What Does the Public Know?
Well-Known: Public Option, Sotomayor
Little-Known: Cap & Trade, Baucus

The U.S. government has a lot on its plate right now, which means that the American public has a lot to keep up with in the news. The Pew Research Center’s latest News IQ Quiz finds a mixed picture of public awareness on key issues, with majorities aware of some key facts on health care and the economy. But other questions stump large segments of the public, including the current size of the U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan, the approximate level of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the name of a key environmental proposal being debated in Congress.

The results were interesting…

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Especially interesting to me was the continuing gap between the level of awareness between Democrats and Republicans:

Pew Political IQ Poll: Republicans Consistently More Knowledgeable
By Mary Katharine Ham
The Blog at The Weekly Standard

You likely won’t see this poll result elsewhere, so I thought I’d highlight it here. This is a Pew Political IQ test conducted over the phone with 1,002 adults from Oct. 1-4. They were asked 12 questions, and answered an average of 5.3 questions correctly, according to Pew.

But here’s the part you likely haven’t heard about:

Table of Relative Scores

The result is a repeat of a Pew Political IQ test conducted in March, which asked 12 slightly different questions and found Republicans more knowledgeable on 10 questions, even with Democrats on one, and lagging Democrats on just one (number of troops killed in Iraq). Those results are available under the helpful subhead, “Republicans more knowledegable,” but I don’t remember too many articles using that as a lede.

Indeed not.

Read the whole of both.

P. S. I scored 12 of 12 on both this quiz and the previous one.

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