Kevin Drum posts some interesting statistics of which groups came out for Obama relative to the national average and which did not. Unsurprisingly, Obama did well among the young, but surprisingly only tied Kerry amongst gays and lesbians, and did especially well amongst high earners (the primary victims of his tax plan).
Democrats have been wondering "whats the matter with Kansas?" Now Republicans will have to wonder "whats the matter with Connecticut?" Why is it that so many rich people come out for Obama despite their narrow short-term economic self interest?
I think my Dad fits the bill of one of those high-earners who were converted to Obama. He was turned off by the social conservatism represented by Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman. But also saw the value of his retirement savings wither away by inflation and the low dollar caused (he says) by Bush's budget deficits. Meanwhile, Bush did not so much cut taxes on high earners as on the wealthy through his massive cuts of inheritance and capital gains taxes. Bush showed his natural affinity for the ne'er-do-well sons of wealthy fathers like himself. Meanwhile, many people with high incomes who live in the coasts don't actually have much wealth: they spend their money on inflated real estate and watched the value of their expensive houses plummet under Bush.
But over on the Corner, there is a worriesome critique of Obama's constituency. Despite all his emphasis on the middle class, it is not totally unfair to characterize much of his support and his supporters as coming from a mix of poor blacks and rich whites. He himself may not fit into either category, but plenty of my fellow Obama volunteers did. My previous sentiments of unity with my black and hispanic co-volunteers should be colored with the yawning gaps in our education levels and prospects.
The response is to note that my current home town, solidly and genuinely middle class West Reading, came out overwhelmingly for Obama (pdf) while the more rural precincts of Berks county, with comperable income and education levels went for McCain. Values, represented in part by our choice to live in our cohesive and walkable town, seemed to trump income.
2 hours ago