Rich people vote Democratic. It’s true.
This is a subject which sometimes create a lot of contention.
We do know that polls show that people with family incomes of $100,000 or more are the staunchest Republicans, but merely having a family income of $100,000 does not make someone rich and is far away from being in the top 1% which requires an income of $400,000. Very little is known about the voting habits of those people because they make up such a small percent of polls and most questionnaires don’t even include such high income brackets.
Point of evidence #1: Democrats receive more donations than Republicans. Because the bulk of donations come from rich people and not poor people, that is evidence that the rich are more often Democrats than Republicans.
Point of evidence #2: According to a CNBC millionaire survey earlier this year, in a hypothetical matchup between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, the 53% of millionaires would vote for Hillary and only 47i% for Jeb. And remember that Jeb is the Republican candidate whose policies are most aligned with the interests of the very rich. Also, being a millionaire isn’t even that rich, it only puts one into the top 5%.
The survey also showed that among millionaires 48 and younger, 70% would vote for Hillary. So yes, millionaires under the age of 48 are overwhelmingly Democratic. Younger millionaires are a lot richer than older millionaires because they have had less time to accumulate a million dollars. A millionaire at age 45 will have a good chance of being a decamillionaire at retirement (assuming they are working millionaires and not millionaires by inheritance). And if they inherited that much wealth then they are by definition part of the rich elite.
The lesson here is that people who are able to scrape up a million dollars by the time they are old enough to retire are Republican, but people with serious money are Democrats.
Point of evidence #3: children of the rich.
I believe that if you look at rich people on the family level, they are even more Democratic. Children of the rich don’t show up as being “rich” in polls and surveys because they don’t have the same income as their parents and have not yet inherited much money, but as far as I can tell they are overwhelmingly Democratic.
Where can you find children of the rich? The answer is at Ivy League schools. A 2008 poll of Princeton students showed that 79.3% supported Obama and only 15.6% supported McCain, demonstrating a massive preference for the Democratic candidate.
I hear some people saying “but not all Ivy League students have rich parents!” Having personally attended an Ivy League school, it was my observation that the students most likely to be conservative were those who were receiving financial aid, or whose parents were on the lower end of not needing financial aid. So I would say that the Princeton support for McCain came disproportionately from the Princeton students with less wealthy families.
It’s my guess that most rich families break down in their political support as follows:
- Rich men who are the primary income earners for the family: maybe 50/50 split or maybe 55/45 Democratic.
- Wives of rich men: 70/30 Democratic.
- Children of rich parents: 85/15 Democratic.
It’s important to look at the entire family because they are all stakeholders in the family wealth. If 85% of rich children are voting Democratic, despite Democrats being for higher taxes for the rich and for maintaining the estate tax, it is clear that high taxes for the super-rich is something that the actual super-rich aren’t that concerned about.
Point of evidence #4: the four richest Americans are Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Larry Elison and Jeff Bezos, and all four are Democrats. (Regarding Bezos, he mostly donates to Democrats and is a big supporter of gay marriage.)