The exuberance displayed by Barack Obama's supporters might make Republicans look like geriatric chess enthusiasts, but a new survey suggests that conservatives are happier than liberals - and offers one reason why.
Liberals, claim New York University psychologists Jaime Napier and John Tost, have a tougher time rationalising social and economic inequality than conservatives.
The recent surge in home foreclosures, for instance, is due to poor economic choices on the part of borrowers, a conservative might think. Liberals, on the other hand, seethe at predatory lenders and lax government regulation of the mortgage industry.
The result: conservatives mix a martini and hit the country club, while liberals write angry letters and stage protests.
Of course, American political views aren't so binary, yet the happiness divide seems to be real. Previous studies, including a 2006 survey from Pew Research Center have found the same general trend, much to the delight of conservative pundits like George Will, who noted that "liberalism is a complicated and exacting, not to say grim and scolding, creed.
This trend held for non-Americans, as well. Right-wingers in the Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland were all happier than liberals, on average. And the poorer - and presumably more unequal - a country, the greater the happiness divide.