Came across this interesting story over on Yahoo about Americans being asked three political questions.
It was very interesting.
The three questions were,
1) What political party controls the House of Representatives?
2) Who is the current secretary of states?
3) Who is the current prime minister of Great Britain?
Well, it was not an overall good score.
Of the 3,612 who participated in the Pew Center poll, over 50% answered correctly. On the current secretary of state, 42% got that right. And under 30% could correctly answer who is the current prime minister of Great Britain.
Here are the answers:
1) The Democrat party.
2) Condolezza Rice.
3) Gordon Brown.
What was fascinating was the breakdown of where people got their information and thus how it related to their answers.
Look at the following chart:
The New Yorker/Atlantic: 71 percent (correctly identified Democrats as the majority in the House), 71 percent (correctly identified Condeleeza Rice), 59 percent (correctly identified Gordon Brown)
NPR: 73 percent, 72 percent, 57percent
Hannity & Colmes: 84 percent, 73 percent, 49 percent
Rush Limbaugh: 83 percent, 71 percent, 41 percent
Colbert Report: 73 percent, 65 percent, 49 percent
Daily Show: 65 percent, 48 percent, 36 percent
NewsHour: 66 percent, 52 percent, 47 percent
O'Reilly Factor: 70 percent, 60 percent, 41 percent
C-SPAN: 63 percent, 59 percent, 35 percent
Letterman/Leno: 51 percent, 42 percent, 31 percent
CNN: 59 percent, 48 percent, 29 percent
National Enquirer: 44 percent, 32 percent, 22 percent
What the chart does show is interesting. It is not surprising that people who read the New Yorker and or listen to National Public Radio, or NPR, would be more apt to get the right answers. But, I am surprised that only 71% of New Yorker readers and 73% of NPR listeners could get the first question correctly. I would have thought that number would have been in the high 80s or low 90s.
But, out of those that listen to Rush Limbaugh , the number was 83%. For those that watch Hannity and Colmes, 84% knew that the Democrats controlled the House.
For the New Yorker/NPR crowd, those that knew that Condolezza Rice was the current State Department chief was roughly about the same at 71% and 72%, respectively. And for the Rush/Hannity and Colmes people, also very similar at 73% and 71%.
On the last question, about Gordon Brown being the prime minister of Great Britain, the New Yorker/NPR crowd were better on this than the Rush/Hannity and Colmes crowd. For the New Yorker/NPR people, the percentage was 59% and 57%. For the Rush/Hannity and Colmes people, it was respectable, 49% of the Hannity and Colmes people and 41% of the Rush people got that one right.
The bottom four is very interesting.
It was C-SPAN, Leno/Letterman, CNN and The National Enquirer. The National Enquirer?!
What was astounding is that out of the C-SPAN watchers, only 63% knew that the Democrats controlled the House. For Leno/Letterman, 51%. For the CNN viewer, 59%. And bringing in the rear in The National Enquirer readers with only 44% knowing who controlled the House. As far as who the current secretary of state, of the C-SPAN people, 59% got it right. Leno/Letterman, 42%. CNN, 48%. And once again, National Enquirer readers brought up the rear with 32% knowing who Condolezza Rice was.
On the British prime minister's identity, amazing only 35% of the C-SPAN audience knew that it was Gordon Brown. Maybe many of the C-SPAN crowd miss the "Question Time" segment on Sunday evenings. But, it does not get any better from there. But, hope for the Leno/Letterman watchers because 31% of them knew. But only 29% of CNN watchers knew and again, The National Enquirer readers did them proud as only 22% could get that right.
So, what does this show?
That while people attracted to old media warhorses like the New Yorker or NPR were very knowledgeable, so too were those attracted to new media sources like Rush Limbaugh or Hannity and Colmes.
That people who get there information from CNN, C-SPAN, late-night television or supermarket tabloids are not as well informed and thus possibly not going to be attracted to such media as the New Yorker, NPR, Rush or Hannity and Colmes.
But, they should be.
They would be better informed.
And, this should put the rumors to rest that conservatives are not well informed as are liberals.
But, I am certain it will not for those who are already to say that conservatives just take marching orders from Rush or Hannity.
All in all, it was very interesting to see the breakdown.
I think it makes for interesting conversation.