April 28, 2015 4:00 pm -


But they vote, anyway. But maybe the ones who know so little should just stay home.

Only one-in-three Americans knows how many women serve on the Supreme Court, but 91 percent can identify Martin Luther King Jr., 47 years after his assassination.

That’s according to the latest Pew Research Center News IQ survey released Tuesday, which tests how well the American public knows the world in words, maps and pictures.

…millennials apparently aren’t so great at identifying the current party makeup of the Senate. Only 47 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 were able to do so, compared to 52 percent overall. Those who described themselves as more politically engaged were more likely to know the upper chamber’s composition. (For the record, Republicans hold 54 seats; Democrats 44 seats; and Independents two seats.)

More people were able to identify the country that Kim Jong-un rules (82 percent) than were able to identify Malala Yousafzai as the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner (63 percent). And only 51 percent could recognize Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren from a series of four photos with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).




D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

31 responses to Americans Lack Basic Political Knowledge

  1. allison1050 April 28th, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    They should have begun with asking their parents the same questions. But we already know they (the parents) can’t find their way around a blank map of the US let alone answer any other political question so why ask their children? They couldn’t tell you who their Congressional reps are for that matter.

  2. Scopedog April 28th, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Well, anyone who claims that “both parties are the same” pretty much lacks basic political knowledge.

    But in all seriousness, this is bad. Real bad. The ones who benefit from this are the GOP, because they count on that lack of knowledge to make people vote against their own interests.

    • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon April 28th, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      “The ones who benefit from this are the GOP, because they count on that
      lack of knowledge to make people vote against their own interests.”

      Donks have controlled the public schools for decades. Got no one to blame but your sanctimonious selves.

      • Scopedog April 28th, 2015 at 10:17 pm

        “Donks”? You got a better slur than this? Christ…

      • Dwendt44 April 29th, 2015 at 12:22 am

        You’d be surprised how many school boards are run by Republicans.

        • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon April 29th, 2015 at 1:45 am

          Follow the money. Top 5 recipients of teacher unions donations 2013-2014:

          Markey, Ed (D-MA)Senate $42,250
          Brownley, Julia (D-CA)House $42,000
          Bera, Ami (D-CA)House $40,000
          Honda, Mike (D-CA)House $35,850
          Pelosi, Nancy (D-CA)House $30,000

          via OpenSecrets org

          • rg9rts April 29th, 2015 at 1:49 am

            You think that they would donate to some anti education clown like Christie …or better yet Walker??? The Gopee has an anti education agenda and has for years…see.. they are unionized…like the cops

          • bpollen April 29th, 2015 at 5:54 am

            Shows that teachers unions are operating under the evil conspiratorial policy of donating to politicians that support their interests! However will they live down the shame of being savvy consumers?

          • allison1050 April 30th, 2015 at 5:44 pm

            Nancy Pelosi is on a school board? I had no idea…..

      • rg9rts April 29th, 2015 at 1:51 am

        What planet do you reside on…Bizzaro world sounds like a close fit

        • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon April 29th, 2015 at 2:06 am

          Yet another timid Leftoid troll.

          • rg9rts April 29th, 2015 at 4:45 am

            Better than a hemorrhoid bagger like yourself…Preperation H may help clarify your faulty thinking

          • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon April 29th, 2015 at 5:31 am

            How sad for old dead Rabbi Karl Marx that the propagation in Uh-murkah of his demented gospel has fallen to the likes of the timid little troll ‘rg9rts.’

          • rg9rts April 29th, 2015 at 5:34 am

            Typical bagger BS

      • bpollen April 29th, 2015 at 5:50 am

        Donks, urban slang for the posterior. Derived from badonkadonk. You are contending that Gluteus Maximus controlled the public schools? That is Bullus Crapus…

        • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon April 29th, 2015 at 6:07 am

          So IOW, it still means @ss…

          • bpollen April 29th, 2015 at 6:13 am

            OK, so you ARE saying that Gluteus Maximus runs the public schools. I find that less than credible. When was he put in this position? His educational background? And why must I blame myself for ol’ Glut’s actions? This just isn’t holding together. Or perhaps I misunderstood and you were just being self-referential?

          • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon April 29th, 2015 at 6:32 am

            Here you go, troll:

            “Donk of donks is a slang word for those who identify with, or are members of, the United States Democratic Party. It is usually used as a pejorative, by those critical of Democrats or liberals.”


          • bpollen April 29th, 2015 at 6:56 am

            I’m the troll, eh? Gee, if *I* am the troll, why did YOU get warned by mods? And thanks for the crash course on pejoratives. They are such a DAZZLING debate tactic! Move over, ad hominem attacks, pejoratives are the new king, you butt-munches!

  3. Carla Akins April 28th, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    It’s far, far worse than this and don’t even ask about local politics and polciy issue that go to a vote. They have no clue.

    • rg9rts April 29th, 2015 at 1:47 am

      Ask how many are even registered

  4. pignose4.0 April 28th, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    You could have left out ‘political’ …………..

    • allison1050 April 28th, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      chuckles and sadly shaking my head.

  5. frambley1 April 29th, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Was this one of those Jimmy Kimmel things?

  6. rg9rts April 29th, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Should have asked when the civil war was or who won the revolution,,,,that would have been an eye opener

    • fahvel April 29th, 2015 at 3:44 am

      or why the emancipation proclamation was issued. us history is filled with wonderful and confusing adventures that are rarely taught in schools unless the school is an elite and private place where curious minds are allowed to be curious rather than lock steppers.

      • rg9rts April 29th, 2015 at 4:41 am

        Did you know that no one was emancipated

  7. bpollen April 29th, 2015 at 4:44 am

    Jay Leno made a regular bit on this little example of the general level of ignorance you can find out there. Here’s an example:

  8. John Tarter April 29th, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Once again we see the failure of the government school system. When people in college can’t tell you who the Vice President or the Speaker of the House is we definitely have a problem. And then these same people actually voting. Unbelievable!

  9. fancypants April 29th, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    maybe jesse was saying if police were racists they would allow people to loot and steal in Baltimore. im not sure if this falls into the lack of political knowledge but its close

  10. Snick1946 April 30th, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Nothing new. I recall back in the early 60’s the show ‘Candid Camera’ had an interviewer ask people in the street who Lyndon Johnson (then VP) was. Most never heard of him. Later he became president. Americans have always been like this, somehow we survive and continue lurching on..