Sunday, January 31, 2010

News IQ Results

Here is the original article for the quiz you took yesterday:

Pew-Overall The public has consistently expressed strong interest in the health care debate, but relatively few Americans can correctly answer two key questions related to the Senate’s consideration of health care legislation.

In the latest installment of the Pew Research Center’s News IQ Quiz, just 32% know that the Senate passed its version of the legislation without a single Republican vote. And, in what proved to be the most difficult question on the quiz, only about a quarter (26%) knows that it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster  in the Senate and force a vote on a bill. The survey was conducted before Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown won a special election to the Senate on Jan. 19; Brown’s election means Senate Democrats can no longer count on a 60-vote majority once he takes office.

About six-in-ten (59%) correctly identify China as the foreign country holding the most U.S. government debt. Nearly as many (57%) know that the United States imports two-thirds of the oil it consumes. As was the case in previous knowledge surveys, a majority (55%) knows the current unemployment rate is about 10%. However, far fewer (36%) correctly estimate the current level of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at about 10,000 points.

The news quiz, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Jan. 14-17 among 1,003 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, asked 12 multiple choice questions on subjects ranging from economics and foreign affairs to prominent people in the news. Americans answered an average of 5.3 questions correctly.  

The survey finds that while the public struggled with most of the political questions on the survey, most Americans (56%) know that there currently is more than one woman serving on the Supreme Court. Notably, this is the only question on the quiz where as many women as men answer correctly; men scored significantly better on other questions. 

In response to questions about terrorism and national security, half (50%) correctly identify Yemen as the country where intelligence officials believe the suspect in an attempted Christmas Day airline bombing received training and bomb materials. A slightly smaller percentage (43%) knows that during all of 2009 there were more American military fatalities in Afghanistan than in Iraq; 32% said more U.S. troops were killed in Iraq. This question proved difficult for many, even though interest in developments in Afghanistan – and media coverage – picked up in late 2009 as President Obama announced his war strategy [See "Top Stories of 2009: Economy, Obama and Health Care," released Dec. 29, 2009].

Pew-Demographics Questions about people in the news round out the quiz update.  About four-in-ten (39%) know that Nevada Democrat Harry Reid is the majority leader of the U.S. Senate. About a third (32%) correctly pick Michael Steele as the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Interestingly, nearly half of Republicans (48%) are able to identify Reid as Senate majority leader compared with just a third (33%) of Democrats. More Republicans can identify Reid as majority leader than can identify Steel as chairman of the RNC (37%).

About four-in-ten (41%) correctly say that Stephen Colbert is a comedian and television talk show host. This is the only question on the quiz that more people younger than 30 than older people answer correctly (49% vs. 39%).

Asked how many GOP senators voted for the chamber’s health care bill on Dec. 24, only 32% know that the measure received no support from Republican members. About as many answer incorrectly, saying that five (13%), 10 (8%), or 20 (8%) GOP Senators voted for the bill. About four-in-ten (39%) do not know or decline to answer.

A smaller percentage (26%) knows that 60 votes are needed to break a filibuster in the Senate. About as many (25%) mistakenly say that a simple majority of 51 votes can break a filibuster.As with most other questions on the news quiz, well-educated people, older Americans and men are more likely to correctly answer the questions about the Senate vote on health care and the filibuster.

Less than a third of Republicans or Democrats can correctly identify the number of votes needed to end a filibuster (30% among Republicans, 25% among Democrats). College graduates fared better than other demographic groups on this question, but fewer than half of college graduates (45%) know that it takes 60 Senate votes to overcome a filibuster...

Inserted from <Pew Research>

Nine of us took the quiz and earned an average score of  9.77.  As a group we are more knowledgeable than 84% of the public.  If nothing else, this should highlight the responsibility we have to teach those with whom we interact.


the walking man said...

Always teach. never follow the no talking about politics rule because where sane people meet (and there are many outside the beltway) they can at the least agree to disagree and see the points of opposing views and admit them.

TomCat said...

Mark, you and I prove your point. We often disagree, but we remain the best of friends.

otis said...

Sorry for skewing the results. I am sure that your average would have been over 10.

I guess that makes me the 'village idiot'.

Also, there is a very large divide between arguing and fighting. Lisa and I disagree about many things because of our upbringing, our personalities, and our overall views. However, neither her nor I take our political opinions personally. So, to disagree is not a personal attack on one another. We actually enjoy disagreeing. We both find some very valid points we had not considered previously. We have also come up with some very good compromise ideas.

This is why sex, religion, and politics are the conversation taboos. Too many people think that a disagreement with a viewpoint is an attack on them personally. This also does not allow for new ideas to enter into their minds.

otis said...

Lisa just informed me that due to my poor performance on the quiz, the beating will commence shortly.

Lisa G. said...

I'm sending him to a re-education camp.

TomCat said...

Otis, you are a member of our community, not the village idiot. I fully agree about the difference between arguing and fighting, as that is the difference I try to stress in the comment section here. As for your arguments with Lisa, that's great. I can think of nothing more boring that to be with a carbon copy of yourself.

Otis and Lisa, LOL!!