Charles Murray [perhaps] does a Tucker Carlson, provoking me to unleash the usual torrent of graphs

by Andrew Gelman on February 8, 2012 · 10 comments

in Media,Public opinion

Charles Murray wrote a much-discussed new book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.”

David Frum quotes Murray as writing, in an echo of now-forgotten TV personality Tucker Carlson, that the top 5% of incomes “tends to be liberal—-right? There’s no getting around it. Every way of answering this question produces a yes.”

[I’ve interjected a “perhaps” into the title of this blog post to indicate that I don’t have the exact Murray quote here so I’m relying on David Frum’s interpretation.]

Frum does me the favor of citing Red State Blue State as evidence, and I’d like to back this up with some graphs.

Frum writes:

Say “top 5%” to Murray, and his imagination conjures up everything he dislikes: coastal liberals listening to NPR in their Lexus hybrid SUVs. He sees that image so intensely that no mere number can force him to remember that the top 5% also includes the evangelical Christian assistant coach of a state university football team. . . .

To put it in graphical terms:

Further discussion and more graphs here.

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