Bush Voters Have Lower IQs

A table that breaks down states by income, average IQ, and whether they voted for Bush or Gore has been making the rounds. It appears to show, pretty dramatically, that the states with higher average incomes, and higher average IQs, voted for Gore. Whereas the lower income, lower IQ states went for Bush. The comment accompanying this table is usually 'Come to your own conclusions," or something like that. My first thought, on seeing this, was that it's awfully similar to the Lovenstein Institute IQ Report. But I suspect that the figures, in this case, might be correct... in the sense that they were produced by actual research, not just invented out of whole cloth. They appear to derive from a book published in 2002 titled IQ and the Wealth of Nations by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen. I haven't actually seen a copy of this book (and since it costs $81.95 I'm probably not going to either unless I find it at the library). But the real question here seems to be whether, even if 'actual' research produced these IQ figures, do they mean anything? I've always been skeptical about IQ tests, so I would say 'No, they don't.' And I'm saying this even though I'm a Democrat.

Update: The IQ figures do not come from IQ and the Wealth of Nations, as confirmed by Richard Lynn, the book's author, whom I emailed to inquire about this. Therefore, it seems right now that the figures have actually been pulled out of thin air. In other words, it's a hoax. But it looks like The American Assembler fell for it, among others.

Update 2: The person responsible for the hoax appears to be a guy named Robert Calvert who posted the data to a Mensa newsgroup back in 2002. Presumably he did make the data up, since I haven't been able to find any info anywhere that would corroborate it.


Posted on Tue May 04, 2004


Florida comes in at 26! Interesting, if things had been just a little bit different - I'd be in a more intelligent state? (Yes, I know that's backwards - ranked at 26, we had too many folks who could not figure out the ballots.) tongue rolleye
Posted by Ed  in  Florida  on  Tue May 04, 2004  at  05:53 PM
I personally do think that ush voters are mentally off. He has led America to many bad decisions. But that is only my opinion.
Posted by Abi  in  Canada  on  Wed May 05, 2004  at  09:48 AM
Take a close look at the page - he doesn't actually say his statistics came from "IQ and the Wealth of Nations." His claims about IQ varience are so broad as to be highly suspect. Take a look at this page:


Only 16% of the population has an IQ of 85 or below. However, he claims this is the average IQ for Mississippi. And only 25% of the population has an IQ of 90 or less - he's gone and claimed that no less than 10 states have an average IQ this low. I suspect these figures are a hoax, and one put together by someone unaware of how IQ is distributed in the population as a whole.
Posted by Matt  on  Wed May 05, 2004  at  01:08 PM
This table of IQs by state is an outright hoax.

It does _not_ come from Lynn & Vanhanen's book "IQ and the Wealth of Nations," as the table claims. I read and reviewed that book. There is nothing in the book about IQs by states. As the title suggests, it is only interested in assembling all tests of _national_ IQs published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Posted by Steve Sailer  on  Thu May 06, 2004  at  04:38 AM
Bad Decisions?
He ousted TWO, not one but TWO, oppressive dictators - is in the process of establising those two nations as powerful trading partners, He instituted a department of homeland security, he is working to improve interagency cooperation and he is expanding and empowering the economy.
The only reason why Bush is reflected as a bad president is because of the leftist media - attempting to anger a nation over 9 deaths a day in an attempt to reconstruct two of the most oppressed deaths.
No parallel can be credibly be drawn between Iraq and Vietnam - The simple difference between the number of casualties is tremendous.
As far as voter's IQ goes is a> irrelevant and b> completely false. There is no way to accurately obtain a voter's IQ unless a test is administered to the voters as they vote - under that reasoning the institution conducting the survey would either be sued, if the survey was widespread enough to even be accurate, or completely incorrect because they only tested certain polls in certain cities and did not develop a wide enough base to accurately depict the IQ of specific states
Posted by J  on  Thu May 06, 2004  at  12:50 PM
Leave it to a Republican to make comments on Bush's record, and then blame "leftist media." TRUTH? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

A few points:

1) Bush adminstration betrayed a career diplomat, then destroyed the career of his wife- a secret agent working for the government. If this isn't a partisan attack, what is?

2) The main reason for the fight in Iraq was "weapons of mass destruction." This was a bold-faced lie that cost the lives of 8,000 Iraqis and 600 Americans.

3) Iraq is a massive quagmire, and things are getting worse.

4) The economy is in shambles. There are more people going bankrupt than any other time in history.

5) Those that truly appreciate small government and less government interference with personal freedoms can no longer call themselves Republicans. We have the largest government in the history of mankind, with the biggest government spending ever, and the Patriot Act, which transforms the Bill of Rights into a distant memory.

There is a correlaton between intelligent, educated people and voting records. Deal with it.
Posted by Otto Know  on  Thu May 06, 2004  at  03:15 PM

Read the american assembler article again, they do stipulate that they took the voting and IQ records from "IQ and the Wealth of Nations".

Also given the resumes of the authors

(from amazon.com)

RICHARD LYNN is Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.

TATU VANHANEN is Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Tampere and Docent Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Helsinki, Finland.


I would tend to believe their assertions to be fact over the poster of this article.

Yet a fallacy that I would like to point out from an arguement about average IQ in the begining of this thread: The average IQ may be over 85 points, however in average IQs running from 102 to 85 with 50 states being used to create the average, we would need atleast some of the states polled be under the national average in order to get a national average that is higher than some states.

Yet I digress, Inteligence Quotient Tests are highly subjective and relevant to racial, social, and economic factors of the individual taking the test, no wonder certain areas scored 'abnormaly low' and others much higher.
Posted by chris  in  not where you are  on  Thu May 06, 2004  at  04:07 PM
I contacted Richard Lynn, author of IQ AND THE WEALTH OF NATIONS. He said, "This information is not given in my book." So it looks like the IQ figures are a hoax.

Unfortunately, the American Assembler is displaying them as fact: http://americanassembler.com/features/iq_state_averages.htm

I also emailed the student at UMass, 'gcharter', who seems to be the real source of this info, but he hasn't responded to me.
Posted by Alex  on  Thu May 06, 2004  at  04:19 PM
Why does it not suprise me that it's a hoax?

[as an aside, if you really believe that the only 'main reason' to go into Iraq was WMD, you really need to invest in some long-term memory]
Posted by Bob S. Yunkle  on  Fri May 07, 2004  at  04:58 AM
Is that "American Assembler," or "American Dissembler"?

It seems self-evident to me that Bush supporters would have to be either a. rich and extremely selfish, b. profoundly ignorant, or c. mentally deficient (not that those are mutually exclusive);
but trying to prove such claims with statistics is an inherently foolish enterprise, especially since, as someone else pointed out, the notion of "IQ" as a measurable and meaningful trait has been pretty thoroughly discredited (See "The Mismeasure of Man" by Stephen Jay Gould for a whole book about bogus IQ testing).
Posted by Big Gary  in  Texas, USA  on  Fri May 07, 2004  at  04:19 PM

Displaying them as Fact?

Making up information?

Making False statements concerning the sources?

HOW HORRIBLE! Just goes to prove how DANGEROUS those LIB LIES really are.

The death toll on this must be in the double digit range at least.

Lying about HOW STUPID Republicans can behave...

As if a chart were really necessary for that.
Posted by Ray  in  PE  on  Sat May 08, 2004  at  12:32 AM
Yep, according to 'Big Gary', Bush voters are either rich or stupid, or both, and according to 'Ray', libs don't need to make up numbers to try to paint Bush supporters as stupid.

But of course, it's the Republicians that are mean spirited.
Posted by Bob S. Yunkle  on  Sat May 08, 2004  at  03:02 AM
Does gullibility factor into IQ in some way? The people who fell for this hoax might like to consider what it says about their own mental agility.
Posted by John  on  Sat May 08, 2004  at  04:40 PM
Some moron wrote:
Does gullibility factor into IQ in some way? The people who fell for this
hoax might like to consider what it says about their own mental agility.

Were the author of the last post actually intelligent they would understand that IQ pertains to intellectual acuity, not mental agility. But alas they do not, and probably would not be able to fathom the differences between the two notions.
Posted by spunk  in  your ass  on  Sat May 08, 2004  at  11:21 PM
You can find more about this hoax at this URL.
Posted by Steve Sailer  in  www.iSteve.com  on  Sun May 09, 2004  at  05:53 AM
The funny thing, is that IQ really does not mean a darn thing about who or what you are. I knew a Canadian truck driver who qualified for Mensa who was shocked that they had listed murder/rapist Paul Bernado (or it might of been his just as guilty wife, Karla Homolka) were being listed as current members AFTER the trial. Great group of people that the high IQ mensa types hang out with, huh?
Posted by Bob S. Yunkle  on  Sun May 09, 2004  at  04:06 PM
For chrissakes guys, he marked it as a hoax in the first place. Are you going to go read Satire Wire, Something Awful or The Onion and take THAT as fact, too? Hell, just because Bush is a complete moron doesnt mean ALL of his voters are, too.
Posted by Saddened  in  Hell  on  Mon May 10, 2004  at  05:49 PM
Actually, you all are sort of heading the discussion in the wrong direction with the IQ rantings. Most people don't even know their IQs. If you look at the states that Bush won in 200 and compare them with how those states rank in educating young people, you'll find a correlation. That's the point. (Hint: It's the Alabama belt.)

Bush himself is no rocket scientist. He's proud of the fact that he was a C student at Yale. (Getting Cs in grad school is nothing to be proud of.) Educators know that C students are usually sort of uninspired, slow to catch on to things, willing to let others do the hard work, and so forth.

Bush calls well-educated people "smarty-pantses" and "the elite" as if being well educated is a crime, or something to be suspicious of. That is part of the reason why he's in so much trouble. He has surrounded himself with smarty-pantses who probably talk over his head or around him, deliberately cut him out of the loop, write his lines for him, placate him with one-liners he can deliver and feed him very short "briefings" at his particular reading level. Bush hates shades of gray and subtlties. He even said once that "we don't do nuances in Texas." He probably meant Midland, Texas.

We all need to wise up, figure out what a problem he is causing, and send him back to Texas this fall.raspberry
Posted by PBK  in  San Jose  on  Tue May 18, 2004  at  08:43 PM
The Economist also fell for this.

So the following week they published the nearest they could find - state vs % graduates and state vs school test results.
Posted by Douglas  on  Sun May 23, 2004  at  04:46 AM
Here's a Bush voter/Low IQ joke that I just came across:

A popular bar had a new robotic bartender installed
A fellow came in for a drink and the robot asked him, "What's your IQ?"
The man replied, "150."
So the robot proceeded to make conversation about Quantum physics, string
theory, atomic chemistry, and so on.
The man listened intently and thought, "This is really cool." The man
decided to test the robot. He walked out the bar, turned around, and came
back in for another drink.
Again, the robot asked him, "What's your IQ?"
The man responded, "100." So the robot started talking about football,
baseball, and so on.
The man thought to himself, "Wow, this is really cool." The man went out
and came back in a third time.
As before, the robot asked him, "What's your IQ?"
The man replied, "50."
The robot then said, "So, you gonna vote for Bush again?"
Posted by Alex  on  Tue May 25, 2004  at  11:04 AM
Even if it were true, it would be irrelevant and merely coincidental. If it is possible to find the average IQ, income, or test scores of Bush and Gore voters, not states, you would more likely find that Gore voters have lower IQs, income, and poorer test scores. This is not a slant on Democrats, but it is no stretch to say that most people living in poverty vote Democratic, and most middle class suburbanites vote Republican.
Posted by Dan  in  Chicago  on  Tue Jun 08, 2004  at  12:10 AM
Say what you like bout Bush, but at least, the country is moving towards real morale values.
Which is better:
Low Moral Values, extreme immorality and aborminations = High IQ


High Moral values, decent country with real values = low IQ?
Posted by olivier  in  Netherlands  on  Mon Jun 14, 2004  at  06:31 AM
hey, i think its true. Makes sense to me.
Posted by anonymous  on  Thu Jun 17, 2004  at  03:30 PM
I don't think there's a doubt Oliver, it's much better to have a High IQ than an old view of the world, like the one America has. This is the most advanced country in many ways, but its culture is so behind everyone elses. It's sad really.

And in my opinion, if you vote for Bush, you gotta have shit for brains or be right on the top and be doing everything to keep everybody on the bottom. I mean, look at that guy.
Posted by Vinicius Portella  on  Fri Jun 18, 2004  at  02:38 PM
This is proof that we need to transcend politics. What a waste of time.
Posted by Mark  on  Sat Jun 19, 2004  at  07:54 PM
Oliver, you think bombing the living crap out of poor countries is a moral thing to do? You kids need to grow up (I am not talking about physical age here) Moral is not something that only suits you, it
Posted by God  in  Heaven  on  Tue Jun 22, 2004  at  01:38 AM
god has spoken....
Posted by ladymermaid  on  Mon Jun 28, 2004  at  01:53 PM
"Gore voters have lower IQs, income, and poorer test scores. This is not a slant on Democrats, but it is no stretch to say that most people living in poverty vote Democratic, and most middle class suburbanites vote Republican." I can see where you're coming from Dan...that poorer, less "successful" people tend to vote Democratic but I think you'll find that that is easily offset by all the racist, bigoted, church-going, white trailer trash in this country that, without a doubt, votes Republican. I tend to think of racist, bigoted, zenophobic people as "less intelligent". I also find that people who are capable of analytical thought tend to vote on the candidates' merits.

As far as middle-class suburbanites voting for the GOP, I think that's been pretty much been obliterated by the incredible prosperity and peace of the Clinton years coupled with the abomination that is Bush.

But this disaster of an administration isn't a "Republican" thing, it's a Bush thing. Can anyone imagine John McCain creating such a mess of our country? I highly doubt it. And there's nothing intrinsically wrong with conservatism, though it tends to slow down progress on issues that are critical to our society and to our planet. This situation is simply the result of having an idiot as a president.

Though the vast majority of the wealthy vote Republican, there are those few incredible humanists who have loftier goals than simply avoiding taxes and keeping "foreigners" down or keeping them out of the U.S. But their influence is so much greater than simply who they vote for.

Olivier, your statement implies that bombing innocent men, women and children is more moral than getting blowjobs in the White House and then lying about it. The hypocrisy I see in "church-going" people probably like yourself is painfully apparent. I truly hope that someday organized religion is seen for what it really is...mind control of the masses. I look at organized religion as being as dangerous as global warming as it results in the election of people as dangerously stupid as Bush.
Posted by Greg  on  Tue Jun 29, 2004  at  04:41 PM
Now I know why lions eat their young.
Posted by Rodney D.  in  Hollywood  on  Tue Jun 29, 2004  at  04:45 PM
Is it not interesting that those who posted comments attacking George Bush and the intelligence of conservatives (such as the one posted by Greg) merely make pathetic, personal attacks, and employ myths, half truths and outright lies as the basis for their silly little rants? If the mentality reflected in their posts is an indication of intelligence then I would prefer to be stoopid.
Posted by Philip Nolan  in  San Jose, California  on  Fri Jul 02, 2004  at  05:56 PM
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