Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Rich Are Republicans, the Really Rich Are Democrats

In Richistan, I wrote about a new political divide emerging among the wealthy. While most Lower Richistani’s ($1 million to $10 million in net worth) were voting Republican, most Middle-and Upper Richistanis (those worth $10 million plus and $100 million plus) were voting Democrat.

More than three quarters of those worth $1 million to $10 million plan to vote for Sen. McCain. Only 15% plan to vote for Sen. Obama (the rest are undecided). Of those worth more than $30 million, two-thirds support Sen. Obama, while one third support Sen. McCain.
What explains the difference?
Among Lower Richistani’s, 88% cited tax policies as being “important” in making their decision. Only 11% cited the environment, 22% cited health care and 45% cited social issues.

Among the Upper Richistani’s supporting Sen. Obama, tax policies ranked last, with only 16% citing them as important. “Social issues” ranked first, with “policies dealing with wars” ranking second (67%) and Supreme Court nominations and health-care issues ranking next.
The merely rich are concerned mainly with accumulating more wealth and therefore see lower taxes as the most important issue. The really rich have so much money that they are no longer concerned about taxes and instead are focused on longer term issues about the health of the country. They are concerned about what the country will be like for their children and grandchildren and are therefore see social and environmental issues as the most important.

Republicans treat campaign donations like investments, where they give $1,000 in the hopes of a $5,000 lower tax bill. Democrats treat it like a donation, where they give $1,000 because they believe the impact on social and environmental causes they care about with a change in government policies will be greater than donating $1,000 directly to a non-profit.

And it is not just the voters that break this way. The politicians do as well, as reported in Richistan:
Those politicians that spent more than $4 mil of their own money on campaign were Democrats 3 to 1. Those that spent more than $1 mil but less $4 mil, Republican 2 to 1.
Put me in the very rich camp, well without the being really rich part. :)

via The Wealth Report


Rebelfish said...

It could be that the ultra-rich are better educated. At least that is what Karl Rove might believe, since he said

"As people do better, they start voting like Republicans -- unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing."

Fat Knowledge said...

Maybe, but I figure both groups are fairly well educated.

And I think the idea that Karl Rove was a political genius is coming to a quick end, seeing how the GOP is in a worse position now then it has been in a long long time.

Audacious Epigone said...


That's a flattering way to look at it. Being more cynical, I'd guess that many of the superrich are superwhiterpeople--favoring things to give themselves a one-up in the moral posturing game without ever having to deal with these consequences up close. Things that will be the keep the middle class as far away from them as possible are favored.

Fat Knowledge said...


Possible. I guess I think of Gates and Buffet when I think of super rich, and I don't see them in that light. I wonder if there is a difference between first and second generation wealth in that regard. I would think those born rich would be more likely to fit in your category.

Also, in the Richistan book the examples he uses of the super rich that were involved in politics didn't appear to be as you described. They were for change and willing to get involved.

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.