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Pew Research Center conducted a survey (Links to an external


Pew Research Center conducted a survey (Links to an external site.) a few years ago to test the average American’s basic political knowledge.  It asked questions concerning who serves as Speaker of the House, Secretary of State, and other political figures.  Only 47% of millennials could identify the party makeup of the Senate, and only one in three could identify how many women sit on the Supreme Court. (Other studies like this show similar results.)

For this discussion, please respond to the following questions:

1) Many respondents were unable to identify basic political figures during the survey.  Is this statistic concerning?  Should we care that people are unable to identify these individuals?

2) Some people may argue that voters don’t need to memorize knowledge about basic political facts because they can use heuristics to make a decision.  Others would claim that relying solely on heuristics is irresponsible.  Which do you agree with?  Please explain your answer and provide at least one example of why this would or would not be a problem.

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