What makes a Democrat a Democrat? A Republican a Republican? And what do you know about the political stances of the two major parties?
The Pew Research Center has devised a quiz to let you test your knowledge. Check it out.
Which party wants to reduce the size of government? Which party wants to raise taxes on the rich? What’s Nancy Pelosi’s party? John Boehner’s?
If you get all the answers right, you’ll be in good company with … a whopping 8 percent of the American public. The Pew center recently issued a report, “What the Public Knows about the Political Parties,” based on a national survey.
The report found that Republicans scored better than Democrats (Independents fared worst). Why? Older and better educated people scored better (no big surprise) and, nationwide, Republicans tend to be older and more affluent, thus likely to have more education.
Young people had a harder time identifying the party affiliation of political figures. But they were pretty well informed about the parties’ positions on issues. In fact, young adults were more likely than their parents or grandparents to know that Democrats favor expanding gay rights and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Why does this stuff matter? Our political knowledge suggests how closely we’re tracking the leaders who make decisions that affect us. And party platforms are one way of gauging whether politicians reflect our values and priorities.