One of the main issues in American politics over the last years has been financial inequality. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals how politically active Americans tend to be, in relation to their economic status.
The numbers published have shown that the more financially secure people are, the more likely they are to register and vote. 54% of people struggling money-wise were registered to vote in the 2014 election, and a staggering of 94% of those with secure financial lives. Also, the latter were three timed more likely to vote.
The survey also divulge which party are people more inclined to voting, in accordance with their wealth. Numbers in the report show that the more economically unstable citizens and, thus, less likely to vote, were supporters of the Democratic Party – 42%. Only 17% leaned Republican. This means trouble for democrats, because of those poorer people, just 20% were possible voters.
To see which of the 3,000 people who participated in the survey were financially secure, the researchers at Pew put their efforts in determining who had common financial goods, such as a checking and a savings account, a credit card and retirement savings. To fall under the financially insecure category one must lack any of the listed above. People who relied on food stamps, were dependent on benefits, had trouble paying rent, bills and couldn’t afford health care, people who were likely to borrow money from friends and family members, were also counted as poor.
But why are the less wealthy the least likely to turn up to vote? Zoltan Hajnal, political science professor at University of California in San Diego, says that the multitude of reasons are often complicated and intertwined. People living from one paycheck to another cannot afford taking time off work to vote. Being focused on making ends meet and everyday problems, politics seem to poorer people a faraway process over which they have no control over.
Low income Americans are usually the most uninformed ones. This is possibly due to the fact that they are not likely to come across information regarding politics. The amount of time these people spend working and worrying about their immediate problems, leaves them no time to discuss the latest information in politics.
These factors led to the following numbers researchers found: only 26% of low income Americans knew which political party was in charge of the White House and Senate. Of those with financial secure lives, 62% gave the correct numbers.
Image Source: Slate
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