A person who subscribes completely and wholly to the strict party ideologies of the left and right can often be found on internet forums debating the talking points of their [social] conservative and liberal figureheads in office and in the media. Often, this willingness to regurgitate the flawed tenets of Republicrats will result in a vote for the Donald Trumps and Hillary Clintons of the realm. One could say that a well-informed citizen who has spent time poring over the conflicting philosophies only to eventually draw the conclusion that both are wrong (self-serving and not in the interests of the people) will probably find themselves voting 3rd party, if at all.
The reason for this 3rd-party vote varies: from alienation and disillusionment, to poor candidate choices from Republicrats to a stark awareness of the sinister nature of Politics in general; circa 2017. The common thread throughout these rationales is an informed, intelligent and objective voter base, completely aware that they are no longer represented by their own government.
However fervently Democrats and Republican voters pontificate on social media, many are clearly ‘stuck’ in conditioned patterns of thought, a consequence of decades of declining education and increasing institutionalization. The ability to ‘think for oneself’ has been diminished slowly over time and this has become apparent in how many of today’s voters (to paraphrase Chomsky) debate each other fiercely within the limited spectrum they are afforded. Perhaps those who posses the awareness to break their mind free from these limitations make up a large percentage of those who expressed their complete rejection of the status-quo via a 3rd-Party vote in 2016.
Could this manifestation of awareness in 3rd party voters be correlated to general intelligence levels in states? The trendline says: kinda.
The data from the above chart was taken from the 2016 Popular Vote Tracker and The Washington Post’s 2015 State Intelligence Study, a combination of state by state IQ, ACT scores, SAT scores and percentage of college graduates compared to the national median (negative scores indicate a negative deviation from national median).