Americans Are Big Believers In Science, If You Ignore the Tea Partiers

You know all that fuss about how liberals love science and conservatives hate it? Well, it turns out that a sizable majority of all Americans have faith in the quantifiable, reproducible conclusions of empirical observation. As long as you leave self-identified Tea Partiers out of the equation.

Mother Jones' Chris Mooney flagged the results, which come from a survey of 568 New Hampshire residents by university pollster Lawrence Hamilton:

This is pretty striking: The first three political groups—Democrats, independents, and non-tea party Republicans—all trust scientists on the environment. But then you come to tea party members, and suddenly, distrust in scientists soars. The numbers are stark: 60 percent of traditional Republicans trust scientists on the environment, versus only 28 percent of tea partiers.

Hamilton says he's surprised by the strength of these results. "I didn't realize it would be at the level of division that it was," says Hamilton. He adds that while Republicans and tea partiers in New Hampshire aren't precisely the same in all respects as they are elsewhere in America, "in general, New Hampshire is not drastically unrepresentative." When it comes to tea partiers and more traditional Republicans on the national level, Hamilton says that he "would expect similar gaps to show up."

Basically, Tea Partiers and their ilk don't believe in climate science—and since you can't have climate science without the science, they're discarding faith in all science more generally. And they're skewing the overall look of conservatism and the Republican Party.

But in fairness to the skeptics: BENGHAZI.

[Photo credit: Lawrence Hamilton via Mother Jones]