GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney finally secured victory in the New Hampshire primary last night, becoming the first Republican to win both New Hampshire and the Iowa caucus. Incidentally, Romney has many of the wealthiest Granite Staters to thank. Putting his considerable war chest towards micro-targeted voter contact, Romney mined for and turned out his “sweet spot” voters — high-income Americans “with upscale interests like gourmet cooking”:
Flush with cash as other rivals limped through the summer and fall, the Romney team poured resources into data: Operatives mined reams of consumer information — from the number of purchases voters made at Williams-Sonoma to their range of financial investments — to build a model that would allow them to find and identify potential supporters. […]
Romney’s operatives paired the voter data with several hundred thousand paid and volunteer calls. They knew his sweet spot was among older, higher-income voters — those with annual household incomes of between $75,000 and $150,000 and with upscale interests like gourmet cooking. He was particularly appealing to older women and did best — as they knew from 2008 — among self-identified Republicans.
Indeed, as BuzzFeed points out, Romney gained only 4 percent from voters earning less than $100,000 between 2008 and 2012, but he gained 14 percent from people making more than $100,000 in the same time span.
The fact that Romney relied on the wealthy to win is not surprising. His economic plan is set to deliver a massive $6.6 trillion tax cut to the richest 1 percent and corporations, a cut that is 100 times more than what his plan offers middle-income Americans. Indeed, nearly three-fourths of households that make $200,000 or less a year would get “literally nothing” from his plan which — incidentally — actually raise taxes on half of middle-class families with children.
In a time when income inequality is at its worst level since the Great Depression, Americans are increasingly concerned about the shrinking middle-class. If the most Romney cares to do for the middle-class is unknowingly quote a poet who was concerned with income inequality, he’ll need to rely solely on the wealthy vote to get through 2012.