A U.S. State-level Analysis of the Presidential Election in 2016: IQ, Race, and Well-being Emerge as Mutually-Suppressed Predictors

Open Differential Psychology, 2017, ISSN: 2446-3884


I report U.S. state-level relationships between measures of race, IQ, other well-being variables (e.g., income, health), and the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Based on prior research (Pesta & McDaniel, 2014), I predicted first that IQ and race would be relatively unrelated to election results in bivariate analysis. Instead, a mutual suppression effect was expected, such that IQ would more strongly predict election outcomes when controlling for race, and vice versa. The predicted pattern appeared; so too did mutual suppression effects between racial composition and most but not all other measures of state well-being (i.e., religiosity, crime, education, health, and income) used here. The suppression patterns consistently revealed that after adjusting for racial composition, blue states were smarter and more prosperous than were red states. I conclude that at the aggregate level of the U.S. state, conservatism (as measured here by the state percent of votes cast for Trump) is inversely related to IQ and other measures of well-being.

Intelligence, IQ, Race, Well-being, Presidential elections, Red-states / blue-states

Reviewed by
Emil O. W. Kirkegaard, Michael A. Woodley of Menie

Review time 187 days.