Click the image to take the quiz then check your answers against the Pew News IQ survey below the fold. No peeking!
How did you do?
Question – answer – percent correct
(1) Which political party has the majority in the U.S. House? Democrats – 82%
(2) To which cabinet post was Hillary Clinton nominated? Secretary of State – 87%
(3) How many military personnel have been killed in Iraq? Around 4,200 – 40%
(4) Nicolas Sarkozy is the president of ____? France – 38%
(5) Guantánamo Bay is ____? The location of a U.S. naval base – 76%
(6) Who is the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives? Nancy Pelosi – 72%
(7) Are U.S. gas taxes higher, lower or about the same as Western Europe? Lower – 64%
(8) What is the current average of the Dow Jones Industrial Average? 8,000 – 45%
(9) Robert Gates is ____? U.S. Secretary of Defense – 52%
(10) Is Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts conservative, liberal or moderate? Conservative – 53%
Of those in the actual survey of 1,000 adults interviewed Dec. 4-7, Republicans (6.4) bested unaffiliated voters (6.2) and Democrats (5.9) in the number of questions answered correctly out of 10.
Most disturbing is the erosion of knowledge of Iraq war fatalities over the course of the Pew surveys.
Awareness of the level of U.S. military fatalities in Iraq has fluctuated in recent months. At 40%, the current level of knowledge is the second-lowest recorded by Pew surveys. The question has been asked 11 times since 2004, and usually about half of the public can select the category containing the current number of troop deaths. However, in March 2008, the percentage able to do so plunged to 28%. That happened after a period of several months in which news attention to Iraq had greatly diminished.
In late March of 2008, the U.S. passed the grim milestone of 4,000 total fatalities. When the question was next asked on a survey in early April, the percentage able to answer correctly rose to its highest level, 60%. The decline in awareness since then has been greatest among older respondents and Republicans (down 27 percentage points in each group).