Political Typology Test

The BlogAd for Pew that just started running in my left sidebar has already gotten results, as I’ve clicked on it and nosed around a bit. A took their Political Typology Test and, while I thought several of the questions very problematic, the results are quite nuanced and accurate.

Based on your answers to the questionnaire, you most closely resemble survey respondents within the Enterpriser typology group. This does not mean that you necessarily fit every group characteristic or agree with the group on all issues.

Enterprisers represent 9 percent of the American public, and 10 percent of registered voters.

Sounds right so far…

Basic Description As in previous studies conducted in 1987, 1994 and 1999, this extremely partisan Republican group’s politics are driven by a belief in the free enterprise system and social values that reflect a conservative agenda. Enterprisers are also the strongest backers of an assertive foreign policy, which includes nearly unanimous support for the war in Iraq and strong support for such anti-terrorism efforts as the Patriot Act.

I’d say this is a little off at the margins. There wasn’t much on military and foreign affairs in the quiz. These questions were somewhat problematic:

Pew Typology Military

I think there’s little doubt that “Relying too much on military force to defeat terrorism creates hatred that leads to more terrorism.” At the same time, it’s probably true that, “Using overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism around the world.” Certainly, nothing else seems to work.

My social values are generally conservative but, from the standpoint of public policy, I’m largely libertarian.

Defining Values Assertive on foreign policy and patriotic; anti-regulation and pro-business; very little support for government help to the poor; strong belief that individuals are responsible for their own well being. Conservative on social issues such as gay marriage, but not much more religious than the nation as a whole. Very satisfied with personal financial situation.

I’m rather substantially less religious than the nation as a whole. The “responsibility” questions are poorly crafted.

Pew Typology Poverty

This statement is bizarre: “Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.” While there are people who would rather suckle at the public teat than work, the idea that “poor people have it easy” is laughable. On the other hand, the alternate choice is just as absurd: “Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently.” Poor people have hard lives because they don’t have any money. They don’t have money because they lack the skills, knowledge, and abilities to get and hold down decent jobs.

Who They Are Predominantly white (91%), male (76%) and financially well-off (62% have household incomes of at least $50,000, compared with 40% nationwide). Nearly half (46%) have a college degree, and 77% are married. Nearly a quarter (23%) are themselves military veterans. Only 10% are under age 30.

I am indeed predominately white, a veteran, have numerous college degrees, am over 30, and 100% married.

Lifestyle Notes 59% report having a gun in their homes; 53% trade stocks and bonds in the stock market, and 30% are small business owners — all of which are the highest percentages among typology groups. 48% attend church weekly; 36% attend bible study or prayer group meetings.

If a burgeoning blog empire counts, then I’m a small business owner. I think trading stocks is a fool’s errand but have had money in the stock market via mutual funds since graduating college. Otherwise, not so much.

2004 Election Bush 92%, Kerry 1%. Bush’s most reliable supporters (just 4% of Enterprisers did not vote)

Party ID 81% Republican, 18% Independent/No Preference, 1% Democrat (98% Rep/LeanRep)

Yup.

Media Use Enterprisers follow news about government and politics more closely than any other group, and exhibit the most knowledge about world affairs. The Fox News Channel is their primary source of news (46% cite it as a main source) followed by newspapers (42%) radio (31%) and the internet (26%).

Not much doubt on the first part. Internet, radio, then television are my predominant news sources.

FILED UNDER: General, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kent G. Budge says:

    I thought several of the questions were ludicrously problematic. Which may explain why I came out as an Enterpriser, which Pew neutrally and unbiasedly characterizes as a “extremely partisan Republican group.”

    Enterpriser? Well, I was a Trekkie once; does that mean the test was right?

    What a steaming pile.

  2. James,

    I came out as an enterpriser also. Maybe they only have one category. I don’t think we would come to blows politically, but I do think we differ on a fair number of issues. Oh well.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Maybe they only have one category.

    It’s looking that way. They claimed to have nine.

  4. Alex Knapp says:

    I came out Liberal, which I’m pretty sure isn’t right.

  5. James Joyner says:

    I came out Liberal, which I’m pretty sure isn’t right.

    Heh. Maybe they’re using it in the Classical sense?

  6. Tlaloc says:

    At the same time, it’s probably true that, “Using overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism around the world.” Certainly, nothing else seems to work.

    Shouldn’t you, you know, try them before saying they don’t work?

  7. Kent G. Budge says:

    Is there a way to fight terrorists that we haven’t tried that you think might work?

  8. Tlaloc says:

    BTW I come out as

    Liberal

    Who They Are
    Most (62%) identify themselves as liberal. Predominantly white (83%), most highly educated group (49% have a college degree or more), and youngest group after Bystanders. Least religious group in typology: 43% report they seldom or never attend religious services; nearly a quarter (22%) are seculars. More than one-third never married (36%). Largest group residing in urban areas (42%) and in the western half the country (34%). Wealthiest Democratic group (41% earn at least $75,000).

    Lifestyle Notes
    Largest group to have been born (or whose parents were born) outside of the U.S. or Canada (20%). Least likely to report having a gun at home (23%) or attending bible study or prayer group meetings (13%).

    Media Use
    Liberals are second only to Enterprisers in following news about government and public affairs most of the time (60%). Liberals’ use of the internet to get news is the highest among all groups (37%).”

    Which is probably the best fit even though I’m an anarchist.

  9. Tlaloc says:

    Is there a way to fight terrorists that we haven’t tried that you think might work?

    Uh, yeah. Psychological warfare. You rob them of their motivation. In part you do this by getting rid of their pet issues (where you can without undermining your own capabilities).

    Look at Laden’s manifesto. What are the things he highlighted as offenses? US troops in the middle east and support of Israel.

    Well should we have troops in the middle east? Not really. Their only purpose there is to protect our interests and if they are instead radicalizing the populous against us then that mission is self defeating. So pull them out. Not because Osama wants it but because it serves our interests.

    Should we be sending Israel, a first world heavily militarized nation, billions of dollars every year? No, not really. They don’t need the money as much as many others do, they’ve acted contrary to our interests frequently, and so long as they are so heavily subsidized they have no reason to scale back their belligerence toward their neighbors. Oh and they consistently refuse to follow the guidelines on the money we give them. So tell them we’re phasing out our support for them over five years.

    Now will this make Osama happy? No of course not and his happiness is of no concern. What it will do is to make it so the next time he tries to hit up his fellow travelers in Saudia Arabia and Syria for some cash they look around and say “No, thanks, we’re just not that mad at the US.”

    The key is the “man on the (arab) street.” We win with him, or we lose. Period. Right now we’re losing because we’re giving *him* plenty of reasons to be wary and even hateful toward us.

    So to sum up, yes there are many tactics that we haven’t tried. In fact EVERY tactic except military force hasn’t been meaningfully tried. Disengagement is probably our best tactic in the short term until our image recovers a bit.

  10. Dave Schuler says:

    I came out as “Disaffected” which is probably right although I’m way too educated and way to involved to fit in with most who fall into that classification.

    I wish they’d had a selection for eith Both or Neither on some of the questions.

  11. Dave Schuler says:

    On reflection I think the test may have a problem categorizing real centrists (which is how I’d categorize myself in conventional political terms).

  12. Tano says:

    “it’s probably true that, “Using overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism around the world.”

    Huh?

    Where does that come from?
    Is that what we have been doing? Certainly not in Iraq with Rummy’s lean and mean minimalist approach (not that that was a war against terrorism at the start), nor in Afghanistan – where we pretty much decided to let the terrorist leaders survive once they hightailed it into the mountains – nor anywhere else.

    Could you point me to the chapter in Gen. Petraeus’s book where “overwhelming force” is laid out as the essential strategy against terrorism?

  13. James Joyner says:

    Could you point me to the chapter in Gen. Petraeus’s book where “overwhelming force” is laid out as the essential strategy against terrorism?

    Can you point me to the chapter about the mess hall? What, you’ve never had a meal?!

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

    Petraeus’ book, as it were, is about counter-insurgency, not counter-terrorism. Aside from perhaps the Brits in Northern Ireland, I’m not sure we have any great examples.

  14. Alex Knapp says:

    Can you point me to the chapter about the mess hall? What, you’ve never had a meal?!

    No, sir. Three squares a day, sir.

  15. Tano says:

    gee sorry James, here i was thinking that the insurgents were terrorists.

    But back to the question i originally posed. Could you explain the manner in which one fights terrorism with “overwhelming force”?

  16. just me says:

    I took the test somewhere else, and recall I was also an enterpriser.

    I think one huge problem is that they had two problems/statements that were opposing each other that weren’t neccessarily the only choices.

    I agree that a both or neither option would be better. Also may be why centrists are difficult to identify.

    But I almost always get frustrated with these types of tests, because they almost never have the answers I want.