Politics and Temperament: Who You Vote for May Be in Your Genes

We have run many surveys over the past 12 years, querying tens of thousands of people who have completed the KTS-II as to their political leanings.  Besides accurately predicting the outcomes of the 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections, the results have been consistent in terms of the makeup of the electorate: politics and temperament have a very strong correlation.  According to Pew Research, about 32% of the population identifies themselves as Democrats, 25% as Republicans, and 37% as Independents.  Our survey mirrors Pew almost exactly, at a national level – but the real interest to us comes as we look at the breakdown of each of the four temperaments.  Take a guess before jumping ahead: which temperament is most likely to be Republican?  Which is most likely to be Democratic?  How about Libertarian, Green, or Tea?


In this survey of 1830 random people who completed the KTS-II between Friday, July 15, and Sunday, July 17, we asked the following questions (we’ll continue to publish results over the next several days):

  •  How concerned are you about the current impasse between Congress and President Obama regarding raising the U.S. national debt ceiling?
  •  In the current debate on raising the U.S. debt ceiling, with whom do you most closely agree?
  •  Which statement below most closely aligns with your position regarding Medicare and the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations?
  •  Which statement below most closely aligns with your position regarding Social Security and the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations?
  • If the negotiations fail and the U.S. begins defaulting on debt, the blame will be primarily on:
  • Do you approve of President Obama’s job performance at this time?
  • If the U.S. Presidential election were held tomorrow, for whom would you be most likely to vote?
  •  What is your U.S. voting status?
  •  And finally:  Please select the political party with which you identify?

In answer to the final question, here’s how the four temperaments distribute:

  •  Guardians are the most likely temperament to identify as Republicans (including Tea Party in the Republican group), in fact they are the only group where Republicans statistically equal Democrats.
  • Idealists are the most likely temperament to identify as Democrats.  Idealist and Rationals are both about 2.5 times as likely to identify as Democrats than as Republicans.
  • Rationals are the most likely of the four temperaments to identify as Libertarians.
  • About 3% of each temperament group identifies with the Tea Party.

Click on the thumbnail of the graph to see the breakout of political party by temperament.  Coming tomorrow: how the temperaments view the current impasse on the budget deficit ceiling between President Obama and Congressional Republicans.

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