Morons at the Gate: An Addendum

Religion, Race, and Education in the American Electorate

Steve Genco
4 min readApr 4, 2024

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In two previous posts (Morons at the Gate, Part 1, Part 2) I made the case that education could be an antidote for the kinds of magical thinking that Donald Trump, the GOP, and their media allies are promoting and exploiting to further their political ambitions. Some readers have pointed out that education is not a cure-all, and I readily agree. Anyone who has been to college knows first-hand that college-educated morons exist and are regularly released into the general population.

I want to add a short addendum here describing one reason why even the best college education cannot guarantee that one will grow up to become a rational, evidence-based thinker. That reason is white evangelical fundamentalism.

When I did a deep-dive analysis of the 2020 American National Election Studies (ANES) back in 2021 (“Fear and Loathing in the American Electorate”, starting here), I found a very intriguing interaction between education and fundamentalist religious beliefs that I’m going to repost here with some additional graphs and commentary to illustrate how these two major forces in American society can combine to either diminish or amplify America’s MAGA moron problem, particularly among white Americans.

If we look at the ANES survey respondents as a whole, we see a clear effect of education on vote.¹ Among those with less than a college degree, the 2020 vote was split pretty evenly between the…

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Steve Genco

Steve is author of Intuitive Marketing (2019) & Neuromarketing for Dummies (2013). He holds a PhD in Political Science from Stanford University.