Tags: Unlikely | voters | rich | poor

Census Bureau: Rich Americans More Likely To Vote

By Michelle Smith   |   Tuesday, 25 Sep 2012 08:05 AM

Ahead of elections, there is generally a major drive to get people registered to vote. But data suggest that those with lower incomes are less likely than are those with higher incomes to go to the polls anyway.

In the 2008 presidential election, only 52 percent of adults from families earning $20,000 or less cast a vote, while 80 percent of adults from families earning $100,000 or more a year voted, according to data from the Census Bureau cited by CNNMoney.

That election drew more people to the polls than any race has since 1960, but, according to USA Today, almost 80 million eligible citizens didn’t vote.

Editor's Note: Obama Donor Banned This Video But You Can Watch it Here

This year, USA Today says, “unlikely” voters could perhaps number 90 million. An unlikely voter is one who is eligible to vote but who probably won’t.

Many people in this category, report experiencing hard times in past four years, says USA Today. Only a third consider their household finances good or excellent, and close to half say their annual household income is less than $60,000 a year. Moreover, unlikely voters tend to have lower levels of education than do likely voters; nearly six in 10 have no more than a high school diploma.

There are a number of reasons that people with lower incomes sit out during elections. Some claim they are too busy, some are suspicious of the candidates and some have no true preference between the candidates. However, one of the most common reasons for the lack of participation is that people with less money are less likely to believe their votes matter.

“People with more income are more likely to feel they have more at stake in terms of taxes, public services and various benefits,” Lane Kenworthy, professor of social and political science at the University of Arizona, tells CNNMoney. “People with lower incomes are more likely to feel disillusioned, because they tend to feel like policy never changes.”

Many people with lower incomes have seen presidents and their promises come and go, yet they do not feel that their life situations change in the process, so they just stay home.

Though public officials are supposed to be representatives of all Americans, everyone is not disappointed that poorer people are less likely to vote.

“Lower income people tend to be less politically informed, so people have long argued that maybe it’s just as well they don’t vote,” Andrew Gelman, professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University, tells CNNMoney.

Editor's Note: Obama Donor Banned This Video But You Can Watch it Here

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Economy
Ahead of elections, there is generally a major drive to get people registered to vote. But data suggest that those with lower incomes are less likely than are those with higher incomes to go to the polls anyway.
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2012-05-25
 

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