Survey: Poor Families Are More Liberal, But Vote Less

Eric Murphy

A Pew research survey suggests that poor families are less likely to vote than richer ones. (Sage Ross / Flickr / Creative Commons)

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According to the Pew Research Center, poor Americans are significantly less likely to vote today than are wealthy Americans. Families who make less than $30,000 a year make up about a third of Americans, but only 20% of likely voters. There are fewer wealthy families—those who make more than $75,000 a year—but they make up 50 percent more of likely voters than the least wealthy segment of the population.Fewer poor families voting means their public policy preferences are less likely to be adopted. According to Pew:   Nonvoters express more liberal opinions than voters on a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues…. Far more nonvoters than voters favor activist government. About half of nonvoters (52%) say the government should do more to solve problems, while 40% say the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. The balance of opinion is reversed among likely voters: 56% say the government is doing too much, while 39% say the government should do more to solve problems. By 46% to 31%, more nonvoters favor keeping the 2010 health care law in place than repealing the law; 23% do not express an opinion. Voters are more evenly divided, with 49% favoring the law’s repeal and 43% saying it should remain in place; just 8% do not express an opinion…. On foreign policy, a clear majority of likely voters (56%) favor withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan as soon as possible; 40% say they should remain until the situation there is stabilized. Support for an immediate withdrawal is even more widespread among nonvoters (67% favor).

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