24 Oct 2008

Even With McCain, Republicans are Happier

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A typical Republican

Even the Washington Post notices:

Now the good news for Republicans: You are happier than Democrats. You always have been, and you probably always will be.

Never mind that your presidential candidate is sinking in the polls while your president plumbs historic depths of popular scorn and your free market squeals for intervention while your investments evaporate on Wall Street. You are not just happier than the other guys, but more of you are very happy indeed, according to new survey results published yesterday by the Pew Research Center.

The pollsters were in the field asking about happiness this month, a period when economic news was gloomy for everybody and presidential campaign news seemed especially baleful for Republicans. Yet they found 37 percent of Republicans are “very happy,” compared with 25 percent of Democrats; 51 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats are “pretty happy”; and 9 percent of Republicans are “not too happy,” compared with 20 percent of Democrats.
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The partisan happiness gap — unbroken for nearly four decades — is impervious to electoral ups and downs. It has something to do with worldview. …

Brooks says a lot hinges on the answer to this question: Do you believe that hard work and perseverance can overcome disadvantages? Conservatives are more likely to say yes.

Pew found that Democrats are more likely to say that success in life is mostly determined by outside forces. Republicans lean toward thinking that success is determined by one’s own efforts.

The hypothesis: Those who think they can control their destinies are happier.

Read the whole thing.

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