Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gallup: Poor are not impressed with partisan politics

Half below poverty line are 'Independents'

 Respondents' poverty status is based on Gallup's best estimate of those in poverty according to the most recent U.S. census poverty thresholds, which are from 2011 -- hence, the use of 2011 Gallup data for this analysis. The government's income thresholds for poverty vary significantly according to age of householder, number of related adults in the household aged 18 years or older, and number of related children in the home younger than age 18. Gallup thus made a determination of individual respondents' poverty status based on their annual household income in conjunction with their position on these demographic characteristics. In addition to household income, Gallup's categorization of respondents in poverty uses marital status to account for number of related adults in the household aged 18 or older and includes number of children in the home younger than age 18.
As a point of comparison for those in poverty, 27% of all Americans nationally identified as Republicans in 2011, 30% as Democrats, and 37% as independents. These levels of partisanship were unchanged in the first six months of 2012, with 27% of adults identifying as Republicans, 30% as Democrats, and 36% as independents -- revealing that the party ID of those in poverty is likely similar this year as well.
Adding Republican and Democratic leaners to the respective party groups produces the same result. Those in poverty are twice as likely as those who aren't to be pure independents -- 23% vs. 12%. And those in poverty are much less likely to identify as Republicans or lean Republican and slightly more likely to identify as Democrats or lean Democratic.
The relatively high percentage of those in poverty who are political independents suggests that these individuals are less likely than average to be engaged in the political process.
Majority of Those in Poverty Approved of Obama in 2011
The majority of Americans in poverty approved of President Barack Obama in 2011, compared with 45% approval among those not in poverty. But those in poverty were almost twice as likely as those not in poverty to have no opinion of the job the president was doing, underscoring that Americans who are in poverty are less likely in general to be engaged in politics.

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