Which Is the Real 'Party of the Rich'?

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Which party attracts the wealthy, the out-of-touch, and the extravagant? Both Democrats and Republicans have a strong interest in asking this question, and, naturally, pointing the finger at their opponents. But when one gets down to the numbers, it's more complicated, explains Razib Khan at Discover. While "there is some evidence that the super-rich may tilt Democrat," it looks like, in general, "the wealthy tend to be more Republican."

Complicating matters, though, is this fascinating set of facts:

though Democratic leaning states tend to be wealthier, on average within those states the wealthy tend to vote Republican. Another detail is that the correlation between income and voting Republican is weaker within Democratic leaning states, but very stark in Republican states.

Then, too, "there is actually data to suggest that the modal Republican is middle class," although "middle class Republicans tend to be above average in income and wealth, but are not necessarily college educated ... The lower classes lean strongly Democratic," while "the upper classes are more polarized."

So which party is more packed with privilege? Khan offers no categorical answer. It seems to depend on which numbers one looks at.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.