The posts below I used education as a proxy for class. This is obviously rough. There are many people without college degrees who are well off, and many with college degrees who are only marginally middle class, or lower. How about looking at both net wealth and education? Unfortunately the sample sizes get a bit smaller, and so I can’t go and look at issue by issue. But I can look at party identification. Limiting the sample to whites here are some interesting points:
1) The proportion of Democrats is highest for whites with the combination of college eduation or higher and net wealth of less than $150,000.
2) The proportion of Republicans is highest for whites with the combination of college eduation or higher and net wealth of greater than $150,000. But whereas the difference in Democratic orientation is 14.5 points for whites across the educational chasm below $150,000, those who are above the $150,000 threshold show only a 3.4 gap between Republican orientation for those who do, and don’t, have college degrees. In other words, education matters a great deal for Democratic affiliation for whites who are less well off, while for the well off Republican party affiliation has only a weak relationship to educational attainment.
3) Political party polarization is greatest among those with wealth and higher education. Only 5.3% were political Independents with no lean in this class. In contrast, 31.2% of whites with no college degree and below $150,000 in wealth were Independents with no lean.
Table below the fold.
|Party affiliation of whites as a function of wealth & education, 2004-2008|
|Repub or lean Repub||Independent||Dem or lean Dem|
|Less than $150,000 in net wealth||No HS to some college||33.6||31.2||35.2|
|Bachelor’s or higher||36.8||13.6||49.6|
|Greater than $150,000 in net wealth||No HS to some college||51.5||17.7||30.8|
|Bachelor’s or higher||54.9||5.3||39.8|