Commenter Hail asked me to estimate Kamala Harris’s IQ and given her similarity to Barack Obama, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit his IQ to boot. Both are late boomer Afro-multiracial second generation immigrant lawyers from elite backgrounds who grew up to be the first non-whites on a major presidential ticket.
African Americans are 12.7% of the population, but about 10% of them do not have enough sub-Saharan ancestry (>50%) to technically qualify as black. Thus 1.27% of Americans are Afro-multiracial.
Assuming 1.27% of America’s 76 million baby boomers (some are dead) are also Afro-multiracials, that’s 965 thousand people. Now assuming the average U.S. Afro-multiracial has an IQ of 93 (half-way between the U.S. white and black means of 100 and 85 respectively; most U.S. Afro-multiracials are hybridized whites) with a standard deviation (SD) of 15, if there were a perfect correlation between IQ and power, we’d expect the two most powerful U.S. Afro-multiracials ever (Obama and if elected Harris) to have IQs 71 and 69 points above the Afro-multiracial average. But since the correlation between IQ and power is only about 0.37, their expected IQs would only be about 37% as extreme, so 26 points above the Afro-multircial mean which would put them at 119.
But it’s unlikely both Obama and Harris have the statistically expected IQ of the most powerful African Americans. To add more precision to our estimate, let’s compare their education levels to other U.S. Afro-multiracials who’ve enjoyed comparable power:
- Colin Powell City College of New York (BS) George Washington University (MBA)
- Condi Rice University of Denver (BA, PhD) University of Notre Dame (MA)
- Susan Rice Stanford University (BA) New College, Oxford (MPhil, DPhil) Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, honored her dissertation as the UK’s most distinguished in international relations.
- Valerie Jarrett Stanford University (BA) University of Michigan (JD)
- Eric Holder Columbia University (BA, JD)
- Cory Booker Stanford University (BA, MA) The Queen’s College, Oxford (MA) Yale University (JD)
Obama’s education ( Columbia University (BA) a Harvard University (JD) magna cum laude ) would put him at or slightly above all six members of our control group so let’s say his education is at the top one in seven level compared to other Afro-multiracial super elites. Assuming Afro-multiracial super elites have an SD of 13.94 (since they’re selected for power which correlates 0.37 with IQ, their SD would be slightly less than the typical 15), if there were a perfect correlation between IQ and education, we’d expect Obama’s IQ to be about 15 points above the Afro-multiracial super-elite mean of 119.
But in fact the correlation is much lower than perfect. In the general U.S. population (and presumably within U.S. racial groups), the correlation between IQ and education is 0.57, but to estimate the correlation among Afro-multiracial super-elites, we need to know the correlation holding power constant. Assuming a 0.37 correlation between IQ and power and a 0.5 correlation between education and power, the partial correlation between IQ and education is 0.48.
Thus, instead of being 15 IQ points smarter than the average 119 IQ Afro-multiracial super-elite, Obama would be (0.48)15 = 7 points smarter, or IQ 126.
This seems a little low for Obama given that his LSATs might have been in the 94th to 98th percentile of LSAT takers (who themselves tend to be in the top percentiles of the general population). On the other hand, Obama was a very uneven debater, and a former “CIA” guy claims that Chinese spies found Obama’s childhood IQ (as measured by the WISC) to have been 128 (somewhat lower when you adjust for old norms), so perhaps 126 is spot-on. Indeed back in 2009, Steve Sailer estimated Obama’s IQ to be 125.
What about Harris? Her education (Howard University (BA)
University of California, Hastings (JD)) puts her near the bottom of our above control group of six Afro-multiracial super-elites (17th percentile). If there were a perfect correlation between IQ and education, we’d expect her to be 13 points dumber than this group’s 119 average, but given the partial correlation of 0.48, we might guess she’s (0.48)13 points dumber, so IQ 113. This may seem a little low given her Brahman heritage on her mother’s side, but it’s consistent with estimates in the blog’s comment section and consistent with her debate performance where she came out strong with her rehearsed take-down of Joe Biden, but couldn’t adapt when ambushed by Tulsi Gabbard.