Democrats trust in astrology, says new study

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
Font Size:

Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to believe in astrology, according to a new survey.

The survey used data from the large-scale General Social Survey, and was produced by James Lindgren, a law professor at Northwestern University. He’s the director of the “Demography of Diversity Project.”

The survey showed that 49.1 percent of Democrats and 45.5 percent of liberals believe astrology is scientific. That’s only slightly better than the score for “hairdressers and cosmetologists,” of whom 45.3 percent trusted the orbiting planets.

But only 36.9 percent of Republicans and 40.1 percent of conservatives agreed to place their faith in the movement of the stars.

The GOP’s average score is close to the score of truck drivers and clerks, at 38 percent and 37.3 percent.

The survey adds to evidence that the GOP’s bourgeois church-going base is less susceptible to irrational and cockamamie theories, or to media-magnified scares, partly because of faith in the evolved Biblical texts.

“His law he enforces, the stars in their courses/And sun in its orbit obediently shine,” says the text of the 1939 hymn, “Let All Things Now Living.”

In contrast, the Democrats’ high-low coalition of post-graduate progressives and various minorities averages out to a high level of credulousness.

“Conservative Democrats” had the most faith in the celestial spheres, at 56.9 percent, while 43.5 percent of “Liberal Democrats” trust the planetary movements.

“Conservative Republicans” had the least faith in corner-store predictions, at 33.8 percent. All GOP groups were more skeptical than any Democratic group.

That astrology scores were echoed by a question asking if respondents knew that it takes one year for the Earth to orbit around the sun.

“Conservatives Republicans” score the best, with 67.3 getting the right answer. “Conservative Democrats” scored the worst, with only 27.1 getting the right answer.

“Liberal Democrats,” likely including many university-trained progressives, scored in third place, at 64 percent. “Liberal Republicans” and “Moderate Republicans” scored low, at 46.4 percent and 44.1 percent, respectively.

Only 14.3 percent of second school teachers agreed with astrology, yet the survey showed that younger people are far more likely to believe in astrology than people who were educated decades ago. Among people aged 18 to 29, 58.3 percent believed in astrology, while only 36 percent of people aged between 40 and 50 did.

Follow Neil on Twitter

Neil Munro