Income and Voting in Vermont

For a bit more on National Review’s Jay Nordlinger’s assertion that contrary to the image of the Republican Party as “the party of the rich” in Vermont “modestly off people” are Republicans, whereas “comfortably off people, such as those that own ski chalets” are Democrats. In fact, Vermont is one of the states with a relatively weak relationship between income and voting behavior. But the relationship is that the more money a Vermonter makes, the more likely a Vermonter is to vote Republican. Razib offers these graphs. First, here’s the shape of a statewide race the GOP won:

And here’s the shape of a statewide race the GOP lost:

Clearly, when Republicans win they’re more than “the party of the rich” just as when Democrats win they’re more than “the party of the poor.” But richer people are friendly to Republicans than are poorer people, presumably because Republican policies are friendlier to richer people than they are to poorer people. It’s rather astounding that you see professional political commentators getting this wrong so frequently. The correlation between income and proclivity to vote for the more conservative political party exists in all U.S. states, has existed for a long time, is in line with traditional stereotypes, is replicated in almost every country around the world (Israel and Ireland are, I think, the main exceptions), and follows straightforwardly from the parties’ competing policy priorities. It shouldn’t be difficult to remember.