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Here's a fascinating result via Henry Farrell and Larry Bartels' book, Unequal Democracy. As you can see, among people with low levels of political information (as measured by knowing things like which party had more members in the House or which party was more conservative) liberals and conservatives alike are aware that inequality between rich and poor has grown in recent decades.

When you shift from low-information liberals to high information liberals, the proportion of liberals getting the inequality facts right goes up. But when you shift from low-information conservatives to high information conservatives, you see evidence not of growing awareness of the facts but of growing familiarity with conservative talking points and thus a decreasing proclivity to answer the question correctly. And I seriously doubt things would turn out any differently if you found a question where the shoe was on the other foot.

This relates to the skepticism I expressed last week that the "flip-flopper" allegation really hurt John Kerry quite as much as it sometimes appears. There's a lot of evidence from various sources that what happens when people pay attention to politics is they better align self-reports of their beliefs with the talking points associated with "their side." So you can get a lot of people claiming to dislike John Kerry because he's a flip-flopper when more likely they think Kerry's a flip-flopper because they don't like John Kerry and that's what Kerry's enemies were saying. If conservatives had decided to say that Kerry was stubborn, huge numbers of people would have believed that instead.

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