Money Talks

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Whenever we get into vague conversations about the political views of “blue collar” types or the “working class” or especially the “white working class” there’s a tendency to sometimes slip into a frame whereby Democrats are the party of the economically successful and Republicans the party of the economically struggling. But though I think there are good reasons to look beyond income statistics when talking about a social phenomenon like class, it is worth recalling the basic dynamic illustrated above — Kerry did better among people who earned a below-average amount of money, whereas Bush did better among people who earned an above-average amount of money. And when you break it out in more detail, Bush did extremely well with people making more than $150,000 a year.

Now there’s a large racial component to voting behavior in the United States so if you don’t count any of the non-white people you wind up with a much stronger showing for the GOP among people with less money. But though these kind of racial breakouts are analytically useful for some purposes, there’s no reason to rely on them for a general characterization of the American situation.