Two of the smartest people I know are conservative Republican political science professors, but the following poll doesn’t say much for the average level of thought in the Republican Party.
Above are the results of a poll conducted by Benjamin Valentino, a political scientist at Dartmouth College, in late April and early May.
He found that an overwhelming majority of Republicans polled think it is important that the United States be the dominant power in the world, but they don’t want to increase taxes or cut social programs to pay for it.
In fact, a majority of Republicans say “none of the above” when given the choice of raising taxes on rich people, cutting military spending or cutting Social Security and Medicare in order to reduce the federal government’s annual budget deficit. Somehow I don’t think that means they are reconciled to deficit spending.
A majority also believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the United States invaded in 2003, and that Barack Obama was born in another country. Where does this misinformation come from? Karl Rove? The Koch brothers? Glenn Beck? Fox News? Talk radio? Tea Party rallies? E-mail chain letters?
But I’ll say one thing for the Republicans, and that is that they know where they stand.
Nearly 85 percent of Republicans call themselves “conservative” or “very conservative” while fewer than 50 percent of Democrats call themselves “liberal” or “very liberal.” That’s why the Republican leaders are conservative, but the Democratic leaders, with a few exceptions, aren’t very liberal.
Click on YouGov for the complete poll results. There are many more interesting nuggets.
Click on A most unusual foreign policy poll for comment by Daniel Drezner, a political scientist at Tufts University.
Hat tip to Hullabaloo.