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?

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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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