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Trump voters really want you to know they have IQs of 137

What are the odds?


Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Published Nov 8, 2016   Updated Feb 28, 2020, 8:59 pm CST

In an effort to counter the criticism that only an idiot would vote for Donald Trump, supporters of the former reality TV host are posting claims about their high IQs on Twitter

The writer K. Thor Jensen found several examples of the phenomenon, posting them without comment, and a quick Twitter search turns up many more.

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IQ is a fairly common thing to throw around in heated internet arguments, especially as a synonym for “intelligence,” which it is not. Trump himself tends to boast about his IQ, though, so it’s hardly surprising that his fans think the same way: 

What does appear strange, though, is the high concentration of alleged 137 IQs among the boastful Trump voters. Why that number in particular? They could be telling the truth, I suppose, but the odds that so many people in the same political cohort coincidentally share the exact same 99th percentile IQ seem slim. Perhaps 137 is a common result of online IQ tests, which use score inflation to encourage social media sharing? 

A handful of tweets claim that Trump once estimated his own IQ at 137, but I couldn’t find a reported quote from the candidate to support that rumor.

Either way, the IQ bragging trend has found its way to Weird Twitter‘s radar, and the statistically improbable genius-level Trump supporters are now being mocked six ways from Sunday. 

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The lesson here is that no matter what your actual IQ may be, appealing to a flawed and controversial measure of general intelligence is a pretty poor way to justify your political choices. Bringing up your supposed IQ (or invoking IQ to insinuate your opponents are mentally handicapped) only makes you seem insecure and desperate for approval. And I would know, because I scored 42,069 on the SAT.

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*First Published: Nov 8, 2016, 5:47 pm CST