Rank-and-file Democrats of all earnings ranges are largely united round massive financial coverage themes, a brand new examine exhibits. The Republican Get together, against this, incorporates a important inside division that mainly tracks earnings strains, with lower-income Republicans being rather more average on a variety of economics-related points.
The examine, launched Tuesday by the Democracy Fund’s Voter Examine Group, was authored by Lee Drutman, Vanessa Williamson, and Felicia Wong.
They gauged assist for a number of completely different progressive financial coverage concepts after which in contrast the views of low-income voters (with lower than $40,000 per yr in family earnings) to extra comfy ones (with greater than $80,000 per yr in family earnings). For Democrats, the extra prosperous voters have been usually extra left-wing — in all probability as a result of they’re better-educated and thus usually extra ideological — however the distinction is small.
For Republicans, against this, there’s an enormous fall-off in assist as you go up the earnings ladder.
The authors created a simplified chart of their findings:
In addition they did a scatter plot the place they mixed solutions to an entire bunch of financial coverage questions to position everybody on a left-right financial coverage index. They then charted every respondent towards their earnings, separated out by get together.
It exhibits that Democrats are fairly constantly progressive in any respect earnings ranges. However Republicans present big variation, with low-income rank-and-file GOP voters being fairly average and high-income ones being very conservative.
Earnings does make a distinction for Democrats, with opinion getting extra constantly liberal as earnings rises till you get into the six-figure vary, when it begins getting extra conservative once more.
However the variations are fairly modest. And, importantly, there’s virtually no person within the backside quartile of the ideological index on the Democratic facet, and the complete backside half could be very sparsely populated.
Republicans are completely different. Most Republicans have conservative views on economics, however a really wholesome minority have at the least reasonably progressive views. And there’s an unlimited class skew to the distribution, with extra upscale Republicans being dramatically extra constantly conservative.
For the needs of Democratic Get together infighting, this implies two issues.
One is that Hillary Clinton’s technique of downplaying particular coverage points in her adverts as a part of an effort to win over Trump-skeptical Republicans was possible a mistake. Loads of Republicans agree with Democrats about at the least some financial coverage points, so there’s no trade-off between speaking about these points and making an attempt to influence voters from throughout the opposite facet of the aisle. On the similar time, the economically heterodox Republicans don’t appear like a secret constituency for socialism — they’re to the left of GOP elites on financial coverage however nonetheless fairly average, all issues thought of.
The opposite is that whereas the phrase “identification politics” isn’t usually used this manner, it’s a strong politics of cultural identification that retains a diffuse Republican Get together coalition collectively. Alignment with cultural conservatism is close to common amongst Republicans, and it retains the get together collectively at the same time as its members have quite a lot of disagreements about particular financial coverage points.