OK, so I’m a little obsessed. Over at The American Scene they’ve been talking class for the past week. Its definition can be somewhat slippery. But it seems that both education and wealth have to play a role. The GSS has variables which look at wealth and education, as well as political orientation and party identification. How about combing them together?
I limited the data set to whites between the years 2000 and 2008. I recoded the variables so that there were fewer classes (e.g., extremely liberal, liberal and slightly liberal were combined into one category). Below are the results. The columns add up to 100%, so what you are seeing are the proportion in each wealth and educational combination who are liberal or conservative or Democrat or Republican.
|No College Degree or lower||College or Higher|
|Up to $75,000||Liberal||27.7||41.1|
|$75,000 to $250,000||Liberal||20||32.9|
Here’s what I notice: the tilt toward the Right and Republicans is much greater among the wealthy without college educations than those with. In fact, while among wealthy liberals or Democrats those with college educations outnumber those without, on the Republican side it is in fact the reverse. Additionally, it is no surprise that the proportion of liberals is very high among those who whose wealth is below $75,000 but have college degrees, and of conservatives among those without college degrees but whose wealth is above $250,000.