A new study published in Time confirms what Pootie the Precious has always known: cats are liberal. (More)

Okay, the study doesn’t actually say that. The study found that people who prefer cats to dogs are somewhat more likely to be liberal than conservative, although the study’s authors claim that cats are “nature’s truest libertarians.” Maybe they hadn’t read that pooties will adopt orphaned squirrels.

So yes, my lead is misleading. But a YouGov survey that found no resurgence in Mitt Romney’s popularity was touted in the Washington Examiner under the original headline 71% of Obama voters, 55% of Democrats ‘regret’ voting for his re-election. In fact the poll found that 79% of Obama voters would vote for him again and that of the 21% who had changed their minds, 71% ‘regret’ voting for him. The Examiner have since changed their wildly misleading headline to Only 79% of Obama voters would vote for him again. If the Examiner can misrepresent study results, then so can I.

But back to the Time study. Using an online personality quiz, Jonathan Haidt and Chris Wilson found significant correlations between political orientation and responses to these non-political questions:

  • I prefer cats to dogs.
  • I prefer watching documentaries to action/adventure movies.
  • Respect for authority is something all children need to learn.
  • I keep my desk and other workspaces very neat and organized.
  • I believe that self-expression is more important than self-control.
  • If I heard that a new restaurant in my neighborhood blended the cuisines of two very different cultures, that would make me want to try it.
  • My government should treat lives of its citizens as being much more valuable than lives in other countries.
  • If I were married or in a serious dating relationship, I would think it is perfectly OK for my partner to look at erotic or pornographic pictures or videos, by himself/herself.
  • The Internet browser I use most often is (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Other/Don’t Know).
  • I wish the world did not have nations or borders and we were all part of one big group.
  • If I were to visit New York City, I would rather go to Times Square than the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • I am proud of my country’s history.

Their results track with other research that shows political orientation is as at least as much about personality as it is about policy, and some of that personality difference seems to be hereditary.

Time’s quiz was constructed to highlight ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ personality traits, even in questions that have little to do with policy. Your choice of Internet browser, and wanting to try restaurants that blend cuisines from different cultures, indicate the progressive trait of openness to new experience. Wanting your government to value lives in your country much more highly than the lives of others, and pride in our country’s history, indicate the conservative trait of in-group loyalty.

So where does Pootie the Precious fit in? It’s hard to say. Explanations range from dogs’ greater capacity for obedience training (more appealing to authority-minded conservatives) to cats’ greater adaptability to inside-only life (more appealing to city-dwelling progressives). Regardless, if you walk your dog through Times Square, you’re more likely to be conservative than someone who takes her cat to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

While progressives are more likely to agree it’s okay for someone to view porn without their partner’s involvement, a 2009 study found that online porn viewing was most common in conservative and religious states. But I’m sure they all ask their partners for permission first.

Good day and good nuts