News and Commentary

New Survey Shows That Trump Supporters Are More Knowledgeable Than Hillary Supporters

A new survey provides evidence that supporters of Donald Trump tend to be more knowledgeable than Hillary Clinton supporters.

The survey, conducted by Conquest Communications Group and published by Just Facts, asked respondents 23 questions regarding education, taxes, spending, national debt, global warming, pollution, energy, hunger, Social Security and health care. Overall, the success rate for Trump supporters in correctly answering the questions was 43 percent, compared to only 31 percent for Clinton supporters.

The question that Clinton voters struggled the most in answering was the following: “If the U.S. stopped recycling and buried all of its trash for the next 100 years in a single landfill that was 30 feet high, how much of the nation’s land area would this cover?” The correct was answer was less than one percent, and only four percent of Clinton voters answered it correctly, as did only 10 percent of Trump voters.

The question that Clinton voters had the highest rate of success in answering was the one that asked if “the earth is measurably warmer than it was 30 years ago,” with the correct answer being yes.

Trump voters struggled the most in answering the question on if Social Security was going bankrupt because of “politicians looting the program and spending the money on other programs.” According to the survey, the correct answer was no because under law, Social Security surpluses are lent out to the federal government and the government has to pay the program back on interest. The survey suggests that Social Security’s problems stem from “increased life expectancy and the growing number of people receiving disability benefits.” Only five percent of Trump voters got this question right, as did only 16 percent of Clinton voters.

On the other hand, Trump voters had the most success in answering the question on if the federal debt works out to be over $118,000 per household, which it does. Ninety-five percent of Trump voters answered this question correctly, compared to 54 percent of Clinton voters.

Overall, respondents didn’t do very well in answering the questions: Only 35 percent of them answered the questions correctly, while 52 percent gave the wrong answer and 12 percent gave an “I don’t know,” prompting James Agresti to write at Just Facts “that many voters may be casting ballots based on warped notions of reality”:

A majority of voters gave the correct answer to only four of the 23 questions.

The highest levels of ignorance were found on questions related to child hunger, tax burdens, health insurance copayments, landfills, and Social Security finances. In these cases, less than 25% of voters provided the correct answer, and in one case, only 6% of voters did.

This may explain why America is stuck with Trump and Clinton as their general election matchup this election cycle. The full results of the survey can be found here and here.