Monday, March 22, 2021

Proof GOPers Are Best Informed Sector Of Population

The proof was published, remarkably enough, in the NYT. Of course, the NYT had to try to disguise the truth, namely, that by a significant margin Dems are the lowest information group of three: Dems, GOPers, and Indies.

Here's how the NYT frames the story:

To many liberals, Covid has become another example of the modern Republican Party’s hostility to facts and evidence. And that charge certainly has some truth to it. Yet the particular story with Covid is also more complicated — because conservatives aren’t the only ones misinterpreting scientific evidence in systematic ways. Americans on the left half of the political spectrum are doing it, too.

That’s a central finding from a survey of 35,000 Americans by Gallup and Franklin Templeton. It finds that both liberals and conservatives suffer from misperceptions about the pandemic — in opposite directions.Republicans consistently underestimate risks, while Democrats consistently overestimate them,” Jonathan Rothwell, Gallup’s principal economist, and Sonal Desai, a Franklin Templeton executive, write.

"Some truth." Of course, the question is really: How much truth in it? Here's the actual question that Gallup and Templeton posed to 35K people:

What are the chances that someone with Covid must be hospitalized?

Ask yourself this: What are the chances that any significant portion of the populace will know the correct answer to that question? And what are the chances that one demographic sector--identified by their politics--will be overwhelmingly more likely to hit upon the right answer? Here's the breakdown:

What the NYT wants you to take away from that chart is this: Dems are likely to overestimate the Covid threat, but GOPers are likely to underestimate the Covid threat--thus, there is "some truth" to the notion that GOPers as a group are "certainly ... hostil[e] to facts and evidence." (Note: I rearranged the words slightly and added emphasis.)

Here's my take.

All three groups are prone to significantly overestimate the seriousness of the Covid threat--which is certainly to be expected given the more than a year long drumbeat of hype. However, a quick glance at the numbers shows that, even so, even allowing for the hype, GOPers were far less likely to harbor the extreme overestimate of the risk. This is true for any given category, but especially if we add the two most extreme categories of overestimation--here the higher the number the worse the result:




Moreover, if we ask the more important question--the question that is not asked--the results are quite striking. Here is that question: Is there one of the three groups that was significantly more likely to have a spot on estimate of the risk? The answer is: Yes--GOPers, and by a significant margin. Here, the higher the number the better the result:




The results are even more striking if we pool the three categories that are closest to correct. I would argue that this procedure identifies which group is most resistant to hype, and therefore is most likely to be informed and open to facts and evidence. Check it out--and, once again, in this category the higher number is better:




Any way you slice this, GOPers are far more likely to have a correct or close to correct estimate of the Covid risk and much less likely to overestimate the risk. In fact, nearly half of GOPers were at least in the ballpark, and a solid quarter were spot on. On the other hand, very few Dems even had a clue and--of the three groups--Dems were far and away more likely to run with the hype, overestimating the risk.

It's really very striking:

Jordan Davis at The Federalist also notes that the entire country was subjected to hype and disinformation--which makes the results so noteworthy in illustrating how much more in touch with reality GOPers are:

Corporate media was quick to pick up the panic narrative about COVID-19, condemning Republican governors for refusing to lock down, despite the scientific data suggesting that prolonged lockdowns would take a large metal and physical toll on people. Journalists also often misconstrued scientific data to fit a fearmongering narrative and employed the censorship efforts of eager Big Tech companies to obscure scientific studies and testimonies about the effects and potential treatment of the virus.

Be proud, GOPers!


  1. In regards to pandemics, this not a big one, period. I got it, most of my immediate family got it. I had an elderly family member with lung polyps get it. We all survived. That said, I have a friend who had it and had it hard, hospitalized with full organ shutdown, he is surviving.

    Thing is, we can’t kill our society and morph into a totalitarian state because of pandemics and I think a lot of people want that.

  2. The hype and reality in north Dallas never matched up. I know several infected, all survived, even one in his late 80’s confined near San Antonio. I got vaccine on Dr orders for med reasons; it’s real but, hey “never let a good crisis go to waste...”

  3. I submit that *any* disease could be turned into a similar mass hysteria if: a) the Feds hype it as deadly; b) the media and entertainment industry hype it; c) politicians hype it, and; d) big tech enforces this singular viewpoint. Toe nail fungus, athlete's foot...anything will do to keep the American sheeple in line.

  4. You know how to beat this BS? Here is how you beat it:

    We may not be the 99% but we sure as heck are the 50%. Organized, we could cripple any woke business in a month or two. By the same token, we could seriously disrupt government to a standstill via mass civil disobedience--without any violence or even threats thereof.

    They can't arrest us all and many LEO's would not even participate in efforts to do so. It's time a leader stepped up and directed the populist-nationalist movement.

  5. Even when data wins the damages done by the propaganda number in the trillions today. It's absolutely mind boggling!

    Covid has been a good wakeup call though for both how inept we are (in logistics, supply, preparation, planning, messaging, reacting) at handling crisis and how tyrannical Governments will get to cover up or take advantage of that ineptitude!

    Also, still not a GOPer! 😝