Democrats, Party of the Prosperous

We’ve known for a long time that the Democrats are the party of the rich. What is troubling is that they are increasingly becoming the party of the prosperous. The Washington Times reports:

In a state-by-state, district-by-district comparison of wealth concentrations based on Internal Revenue Service income data, Michael Franc, vice president of government relations at the Heritage Foundation, found that the majority of the nation’s wealthiest congressional jurisdictions were represented by Democrats.
But in a broader measurement, the study also showed that of the 167 House districts where the median annual income was higher than the national median of $48,201, a slight majority, 84 districts, were represented by Democrats.
Mr. Franc’s study also showed that contrary to the Democrats’ tendency to define Republicans as the party of the rich, “the vast majority of unabashed conservative House members hail from profoundly middle-income districts.”
“I just found the pattern across the board to be very interesting. That pattern shows the likelihood of electing a Democrat to the House is very closely correlated with how many wealthy households are in that district,” Mr. Franc said in an interview with The Washington Times.

Of course, these numbers are skewed somewhat by the fact that Democrats tend to represent urban districts where average incomes are higher. But there is no disputing the trend: prosperous Congressional districts are increasingly turning blue, across the country.
In the short term, at least, this is very bad news for Republicans. Republicans can expect serious deficits in campaign fundraising for the foreseeable future.
I don’t think the explanation for the phenomenon is hard to find: since 1994, the Democrats have been unable to raise taxes. With confiscatory, economy-destroying tax increases off the table, many prosperous Americans have seen no compelling reason to vote Republican. The silver lining, I think, is that as soon as the Democrats amass enough power in Washington to resume their tax-raising ways, prosperous Americans (though not the tiny handful who are actually rich) will remember why they used to vote Republican.
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