Financial Insecurity: Does insecurity make you a Democrat?

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Financial Insecurity
Polling by Pew on political preferences by financial security

Click this Pew graphic to visit Pew’s website and read the entire report on this poll.

The rich vote Republican and the poor vote for Democrats, right? That’s what stereotype says. How true is it?

Reality is a lot more complicated than the stereotype.

Almost half of the most financially secure Americans (49%) prefer Republican candidates—but 42% of this well-off category favor Democratic candidates, according to results from a new survey by the Pew Research Center on financial security. Only 10% don’t express a preference.

Americans in the most financially insecure group have different preferences, but not what you might think. These Americans have a lot of financial difficulties, rely on government assistance, and don’t have checking or savings accounts. You would think that their financial insecurity would compel them to favor Democrats because Democrats promote policies that help the poor, right?

Well, the most financially insecure do tend to prefer Democrats—42% of this group says so. Only 17% prefer Republican candidates. But—and here’s the startling finding—41% don’t seem to care one way or the other.

Even if they do have a preference for one political party over the other, the financially insecure are unlikely to vote at all. Their preference for Democrats doesn’t translate into an advantage for Democratic candidates because these voters don’t show up at the polls. The financially insecure are disengaged from the political process.

What do you think of the fact that the most financially secure Americans drive politics?
How can we engage financially insecure Americans in the political process?

Express yourself

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  1. RamblingRob says

    At age 85 I am financially insecure. Why? Because I have little access to the outside world. I sit here without transportation to the community in which I live. Primarily because the hours of operation of bus lines does not reach my location or ends at 8pm. This takes me out of the political process if I cannot get to the polls or work within the political structure of the community. I can receive information via newspaper, radio, television and the internet but I can’t react without transportation. Therefore I remain a non-voter because I feel unrelated to the political process.