The 2004 IQ Wars: So Much For The Candidates—What About The Voters?

The tenth anniversary of

The Bell Curve
has passed almost unnoticed by
the media (except on VDARE.COM—click

for my thoughts and

for Peter Brimelow`s).

But the topic of IQ is hotter than ever—largely because
liberals, no matter how much they publicly denounce the
concept as

discredited racist nonsense
, just can`t stop
privately obsessing over how much higher their IQs must
be than the IQ of those cretinous conservatives.

Tom Brokaw asked Senator

John Kerry
(who, after watching a Bush press
conference, had grumbled to an aide:

"I can`t believe I`m losing to this idiot"
about my investigative report in VDARE.COM

“This Just In—Kerry`s IQ Likely Lower than Bush`s!”

My findings bothered Kerry so much that, after the
cameras were turned off, the candidate rationalized to
Brokaw: "I must have been drinking
the night before I took that military aptitude test."

(The whole story is in
my new

American Conservative
essay "Bush`s

Since the election,
the Internet has been swamped by that

phony-baloney table
of average IQs by state that I

in VDARE.COM way back in May—you know, the
one where blue states have average IQs as high as 113
and red states have average IQs as low as 85.

Last spring, I rather
regretted that I had

shot it down
so quickly. Its popularity proved my

longstanding contention
that liberals are

utter hypocrites
about IQ.

Well, I shouldn`t have
underestimated the shamelessness of Democrats. The week
of the election, one

received 540,000 visitors the first day it
put up the hoax chart. It must have achieved several
million hits since.

Because a lie travels
around the world before the truth can get its boots on,

has been somewhat less popular.
[VDARE.COM note:
But they`re

reading Sailer


But even my site
received 100,000 visitors in a week. I even made the

which back in 2001, by the way, fell
for the ludicrous Lovenstein
hoax that Jimmy Carter`s IQ was 175
while George H. W. Bush`s was 98.

The Establishment press won`t print scientific
discussions of IQ. So lies and nonsense about this
inherently fascinating topic flourish on the Internet.

Everyone familiar with IQ testing scoffed at the
validity of the hoax data that claiming the average IQ
in Connecticut was 113 and in Utah was 87. To see why,
it`s important to understand how IQ tests are scored.

The mean is typically set at 100 and the standard
deviation is 15. This implies that Utah`s average person
would fall 26/15ths (or 1.73) standard deviations lower
than the average person in Connecticut.

Using the Normdist function in Microsoft Excel,
you can easily put this on a percentile basis. This hoax
data therefore implies that a Utah resident of average
intelligence (50th percentile) would be only at the 4th
percentile in Connecticut. The average person in
Connecticut (50th percentile) would suddenly be at the
96th percentile if he moved to Utah.

When phrased like that, the numbers appear obviously
wrong. But the public is kept in such ignorance about IQ
by the politically-correct media that most people can`t
tell when their chain is being yanked.

Further, the whole notion of determining which party`s
voters are smarter by looking at state averages is
ridiculous. You need to look at the individual voter
data, and for that, you need exit poll numbers. I`m

the most trusting consumer of exit polls, but
for all their flaws, they are much better than looking
at state averages.

For example, Georgia, which voted Republican, is a
fairly low IQ state. But that doesn`t mean its
Republicans are dumber than its Democrats. The main
drags on

average IQ are its

—bluntly, its blacks, given the

long-established fact
that blacks

score systematically lower
than whites.

Two questions on exit polls are known to correlate
positively with IQ:

  • Income; and


Not surprisingly, given Bush`s

agenda, voters with incomes over $100,000
went for Bush over Kerry 58-41.

In 2000, the self-reported educational level of the
average Bush and Gore voters was virtually identical. In
the 2002 House races, Republican voters did quite a bit
better with the well-educated, winning 58-40 among
college graduates and even winning a majority among
those who had undertaken some graduate study. (The
latter`s ranks are inflated by


public school teachers
who have done post-grad work
in the

easy field of Education

But in 2004, as you may have noticed, Bush ran a pretty
dumbscale campaign. The Democrats

win by a landslide among high school
dropouts. This

, however, Bush wrestled Kerry to a draw among
that segment. Bush ended up with an average voter with
only a month and a half less schooling overall than
Kerry`s typical supporter.

Yet for Bush to do worse than Kerry on the education
level of his voters is a poor performance for a
Republican candidate. According to the massive General
Social Surveys, Republicans generally tend to have more
schooling and more verbal intelligence than Democrats.
Professor James Lindgren of Northwestern


"In the
1994-2002 General Social Surveys (GSS), Republicans have
over 6/10ths of a year more education on average than
Democrats. Republicans also have a higher final mean
educational degree. Further, Republicans scored better
than Democrats on two word tests in the GSS—a short
vocabulary test and a modified analogies test.

"If one
breaks down the data by party affiliation and political
orientation, the most highly educated group is
conservative Republicans, who also score highest on the
vocabulary and analogical reasoning tests. Liberal
Democrats score only insignificantly lower than
conservative Republicans.

least educated subgroups are moderate and conservative
Democrats, who also score at the bottom (or very near
the bottom) on vocabulary and analogy tests."

Of course, this higher education level would imply that
Republicans on average are more intelligent than

Personally, I suspect that this year Bush lost a lot of
support among extremely well-informed and
intelligent conservatives, such as the Joint Chiefs of
Staff and VDARE.COM readers.

But they apparently are in the minority…for now.

Although trying to answer the question of who has
smarter voters based on state averages is the wrong way
to approach the problem, the data still have intrinsic

So, as an antidote to the hoax, I`ve found two sets of
honest average IQ data by state.

  • Thanks to Professor

    Henry Harpending
    of the University of Utah`s


    , I have obtained the state means from
    what might be the closest thing to a national sample
    of IQ scores ever: the post-Sputnik

    1960 Project Talent
    study of 366,000 9th-12th
    grade students. (Washington D.C., Alaska, South
    Dakota, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico don`t have
    good data.)

Unfortunately, these
numbers are 44 years old. Nonetheless, they still
correlate reasonably with public school 8th graders`
achievement test scores on the 2003 National Assessment
of Educational Progress (here
are the 2003 scores).

In Harpending`s data,
of the top 10 smartest states, in 2000, Bush and Gore
each won five. So we`re back to my original conclusion:
red states and blue states are similar in average IQ, as
are, on average, Republican and Democratic voters. 

  • Additionally, Prof.
    Nyborg, of Aarhus University in Denmark and head of
    the International Research Unit for
    Psychoneuroendocrinology, sent me a database from

    Vietnam Veteran study of fairly representative 38 year
    old vets (white 85%, black 12%, Hispanics 3%, some
    Native Americans and Islanders) studied in 1985/86
    with a large number of cognitive tests."

sorted by birth state, not where the vets were living in
the 1980s.

sample size is a couple of orders of magnitude smaller
than Project TALENT`s, so be wary of smaller states with
less than 50 respondents. Also, there are no doubt
selection biases caused by the fact that these are
Vietnam Vets. But it`s still useful to have.

here for
consolidated table.)


  • Ironically, Utah,
    which was next to last in the

    hoax table
    , has the highest average score. But
    this is being driven mostly by a 110 average from only
    26 Vietnam Vets.

  • Montana`s second
    place score seems perfectly legitimate—the state still
    scores well in the NAEP tests today.

  • Sorry, all you
    Massachusetts-hating conservatives, but that
    arch-liberal state`s high ranking seems rock solid.
    The state was first settled by the Puritans, who were
    a self-selected intellectual elite. It has maintained
    its strong intellectual standing ever since.

  • I don`t know where
    Washington D.C. would fall today. It has the highest
    percentages of college and graduate degree holders,
    but also the lowest NAEP scores for public school
    students, by far. Like a lot of highly inegalitarian
    places, it votes very Democratic.

Personally, I really don`t think these kinds of tables
will tell you which party deserves to win elections. But
clearly, more honest discussions of IQ in the
establishment media would be a good idea.

we get them, however, VDARE.COM will carry on alone!

cheers for the internet!

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily