Public’s Political Knowledge

Some news audiences are more politically savvy than others, according to a new poll, with readers of The New Yorker and similar high-brow magazines being the most knowledgeable.

The survey, conducted between April 30 and June 1 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, measured the political knowledge of 3,612 U.S. adults. Participants were asked to name the controlling party of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. secretary of state and Great Britain’s prime minister.

Overall, just 18 percent of participants answered all three questions correctly.

More than 50 percent of Americans knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House, while 42 percent could identify the secretary of state (Condoleezza Rice). Less than 30 percent could name the prime minister of Great Britain (Gordon Brown).

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the percentage of individuals answering each of the three questions correctly from the different news audiences:

The New Yorker/Atlantic: 71 percent (correctly identified Democrats as the majority in the House), 71 percent (correctly identified Condeleeza Rice), 59 percent (correctly identified Gordon Brown)

NPR: 73 percent, 72 percent, 57percent

Hannity & Colmes: 84 percent, 73 percent, 49 percent

Rush Limbaugh: 83 percent, 71 percent, 41 percent

Colbert Report: 73 percent, 65 percent, 49 percent

Daily Show: 65 percent, 48 percent, 36 percent

NewsHour: 66 percent, 52 percent, 47 percent

O’Reilly Factor: 70 percent, 60 percent, 41 percent

C-SPAN: 63 percent, 59 percent, 35 percent

Letterman/Leno: 51 percent, 42 percent, 31 percent

CNN: 59 percent, 48 percent, 29 percent

National Enquirer: 44 percent, 32 percent, 22 percent

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