Gallup's Frank Newport writes, "[A]n analysis of the relationship between party identification and self-reported excellent mental health within various categories of age, gender, church attendance, income, education, and other variables shows that the basic pattern persists regardless of these characteristics. . . . In almost all cases, Republicans are more likely to report excellent mental health across the various categories."
Association and causation are two different things. In other words, does being a Republican make someone define "rich" in a non-material sense or report better mental health? Or do people who feel this way choose the Republican Party?
Republicans consider themselves, to a far greater degree than Democrats, in charge of their own destiny. Republicans, more so than Democrats, believe hard work wins. Republicans, more so than Democrats, believe that effort and persistence pay off. Democrats, more so than Republicans, consider the playing field uneven or unfair. And Democrats, more so than Republicans, believe that forces exist that conspire against them, hold them back or hold them down.
Ever heard of EQ -- Emotional Quotient?
A large life insurance company used intelligence tests to determine which job applicants to hire. Still, many hirees failed. So the company turned to University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman, who studied the relationship between high EQ and who succeeds in life. Seligman devised a test that allowed the insurance company to determine an applicant's emotional quotient -- or the extent to which the applicant felt that he or she controlled his or her destiny. The company theorized that high EQ salesmen, when rejected on sales calls, tend to ask themselves, "What could I do better?" or "How could I have turned that customer around?" In other words, optimism, hope and a feeling of "my actions make a difference" predict greater success in sales.
The result? Applicants scoring high on EQ out-earned those who performed poorly on the test, even when the latter group scored high on the intelligence test. Perhaps this applies to Republicans and Democrats, with Democrats -- more so than Republicans -- possessing a "victicrat" mentality.
So, what your parents and grandparents told you turned out to be true: Money does not buy happiness. What they likely did not say, however, is that happy people tend to vote Republican.