Democrats are campaigning this election year as defenders of the beleaguered middle class, peddling the myth that the wealthiest Americans are exploiting everyone else.
But middle-income voters don’t seem to be biting.
A Gallup Poll released this week finds that voters in households earning $36,000 to $89,999 favor Mitt Romney, the mega-rich venture capitalist and poster boy of the 1 percent, by a margin of 49 percent to 45 percent over President Barack Obama.
And guess what? Those middle-class voters are exactly aligned with wealthier Americans, who also prefer Romney 49-45, suggesting that the class warfare pitch is a big, fat loser.
Lower-earning voters are the only income group Obama captures in the Gallup survey, by an overwhelming 53 percent to 38 percent margin.
That middle-class voters feel more affinity with those who stand higher on the economic ladder than those who occupy the lower rungs suggests some things about the electorate.
Clearly, those in the middle haven’t stopped striving to get to the top. If they really felt as if they were being pushed out of the middle class, they’d align themselves politically with the lower-income voters who are the beneficiaries of Obama’s redistributionist crusade.
They also understand that the transfer of wealth won’t stop with the wealthy. To capture enough revenue to sustain the entitlement state Obama is crafting, broad tax hikes will be required. Since much of the money resides with the middle class, that’s who will pay the tab.
Although middle-income families have been battered during the lingering economic doldrums, they aren’t seduced by a Robin Hood who promises to ease their pain with an exhaustive menu of government handouts.
They want more and better jobs, income growth that keeps up with the cost of living, restoration of their home values and a chance to move up in life. They’ve given Obama nearly four years, and he hasn’t delivered.
So they’re willing to look hard at a guy who looks nothing like them, but who says he will get the government out of the way so the economy can start truly growing.
Middle-class families don’t want more government in their lives. If they did, they’d be swarming to the guy who is cramming government down their throats. And they don’t feel they need the government to protect them from the rich.
Where the class war message does resonate is with low-income voters. Since that group is larger today than it was when Obama was elected four years ago, it’s an edge that could carry the president to re-election.
Romney and Republicans can’t close the gap with low-income voters by promising more government largesse.
The best strategy is to put in place policies that convert lower-income voters to middle- and upper-income voters who will cast their ballots to protect their pocketbooks.
Because no matter how hard Democrats try to convince middle-income citizens that they are victims of the wealthy, they understand the real threat comes from a runaway government that wants to replace the American values that produced the world’s broadest middle class with a nanny state that will drag everyone further down the ladder.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120607/OPINION03/206070329#ixzz1xQWsOi2p