Smarter People More Likely to Vote, Scientists Say

Doyle, who was not part of the study isn't so sure, noting the United Kingdom has small political parties, the Greens and Liberal Democrats, as well as nationalist parties that play a larger role in political life than small U.S. parties. "My only concern is that when examining the association between intelligence and voting they only adjust for sex and social class. Normally, voting models control for a range of other individual characteristics that are known to predict vote choice such as trade union membership and, most importantly, education," adds Doyle, by email. "They really need to test this assumption to see if there relationship between intelligence and vote choice remains when they include education."

Her own work in the United Kingdom suggests that "that higher intelligence scores are associated with Conservative voting on average." But "those with very high level of intelligence are less likely to vote Conservative and more likely to vote Labour," Doyle adds.

Of course, "when candidates appeal to 'every intelligent voter,' they mean everybody who is going to vote for them," as the New York Tribune's venerated columnist Franklin Pierce Adams wrote decades ago. Scientific studies aren't likely to change that, but at least political junkies can take some comfort that following politics seems to be a pursuit for brainy folks, whatever way they are voting.

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