Both liberalism and atheism has been linked to the possession of a higher average IQ. I won’t dispute these findings because they’re sensical on a number of points: the detractors of conservative average IQ include a large portion of fundamentalists. Moreover, universities and faculties lean more liberal at large, and most people who are educated tend to adopt those political leanings almost as a kind of academic naturalization. Most people take this to mean that liberals are very smart, where they are only marginally smarter than your average high-school educated individual.
Those statistics fail to account for the smartest demographic. Mensa, a membership only granted to the top 2% of the population in terms of IQ, has a disproportionately libertarian membership
. And again, this corroborates my own experience. most exceptionally intelligent people I meet are libertarian, even when politics are extricated from the few initial conversations.
So I tend to encounter a volume of reasonably intelligent liberals, where reasonably intelligent implies they are usually smarter than your average person (who I believe is still not university educated). But, consistently and without fail, anyone who has challenged me intellectually does not identify with the political spectrum, identifies as a complex conservative, or as some variety of libertarian.
*Half Sigma also dissects some interesting findings about more intelligent people being more economically libertarian.