Charles Murray [perhaps] Does a Tucker Carlson, Provoking Me to Unleash the Usual Torrent of Graphs

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.”

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.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

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Andrew Gelman

Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.