center for the study of political graphics

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Republican belief in evolution has fallen under Obama — Here’s why

BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski tweeted Sunday night asking, “Why has Republican belief in evolution declined under Obama?” He included a Pew Research Center graphic from a 2013 study that showed the number of Republicans who believe that “humans and other living things have evolved over time” has fallen from 54% in 2009 to 43% in 2013.

Many of the dozens of responses to his query prompted could be characterized as “conservatives are stupid.” While this succinct explanation has a certain emotional clarity going for it, it’s not particularly helpful or accurate. So what’s the real reason for the decline in belief in evolution among Republicans?

Political polarization may be some of the problem