Pew: Low-Income Republicans Say Govt Support For Poor Not Enough

Republican Elephant - photo by DonkeyHotey

Republican candidates and Republican members of congress like to say we shouldn’t talk about class. Maybe that’s because they know their policies, while popular with upper class friends, are not so popular with lower-income voters, even when these lower-income voters are Republican voters.

GOP split over Government Help for the Poor - Pew Research Poll

A Pew Research Center poll conducted from Sep. 22 – Oct. 4, 2011 asks Republican and Republican-leaning voters about government support for poor people. Their choices were, Not enough, Too much, Right amount. The results are categorized based on income, $75,000 or more, $30,000 to $74,999, Less than $30,000.

Turns out the better a person does in life – at least when it comes to income – the less likely that person is to believe that government needs to do more to help the poor. Well, at least if this person is Republican or Republican-leaning.

This conclusion isn’t surprising when you listen to the GOP candidates. They all have done well in the income department – some have done very well – and it would seem they think their success means they have a thing or two to teach poor people when it comes to government assistance. Their rhetoric very much sounds like a lecture for the poor. Newt Gingrich is probably the worst when it comes to this mean-spirited – and sometimes racist – discourse.

Unfortunately I believe all the Republican voters who say government support for poor people is not enough will still vote for the eventual Republican nominee even though – for some – that will mean voting against their own economic interests. I believe the main reason that will happen is because social issues will overrule economic issues when they step into the voting booth. A secondary reason is that distrust of the federal government is just as high with these lower-income Republicans as it is with higher-income Republicans, as the Pew poll revealed.

Lower-Income Republicans Share Distrust In Government - Pew Research Poll

While lower-income Republicans do share distrust in government, at least they show much more concern for the economic system and how it favors the wealthy, which is something these Republicans share with the ‘Occupy‘ movement.


photo by DonkeyHotey via Flickr


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