FACT: “The gap between how the rich and poor vote was large in the 1940s, declined to near zero in the 1950s (a period in which there was little difference between the two parties on economic issues), increased during the 1960s and 1970s, and has been wide ever since, with the Republicans typically doing about 20% better among high-income voters than low-income voters. The rich-poor gap in recent decades has been large in elections such as in 1976 (when Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter offered relatively moderate economic platforms) as well as in years such as 1984 (when there was a clear distinction between Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan).”

Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State:
Why Americans Vote the Way They Do

by Andrew Gelman

On the night of the 2000 presidential election, Americans watched on television as polling results divided the nation’s map into red and blue states. Since then the color divide has become symbolic of a culture war that thrives on stereotypes—pickup-driving red-state Republicans who vote based on God, guns, and gays; and elitist blue-state Democrats woefully out of touch with heartland values. With wit and prodigious number crunching, Andrew Gelman debunks these and other political myths.

This expanded edition includes new data and easy-to-read graphics explaining the 2008 election. Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State is a must-read for anyone seeking to make sense of today’s fractured political landscape.

“Gelman and a group of fellow political scientists crunch numbers and draw graphs, arriving at a picture that refutes the [idea] . . . of poor red-staters voting Republican against their economic interests. Instead, Gelman persuasively argues, the poor in both red states and blue still mostly vote Democratic, and the rich, nationally speaking, overwhelmingly vote Republican.”—Leo Carey, New Yorker

We invite you to read Chapter 1 here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s9030.pdf

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