No need to apologize, the subject matter is interesting. But the implication here is false.
The flaw of logic here lies in the assumption that if the wealthier states go blue and the poorer states go red, that means that wealthy people vote blue and wealthy people vote red. Sounds logical, but it isnt.
The equation of states with people is wrong because of what those "shades of purple" maps of OE's do show: that in reality, there are no "red" states or "blue" states that represent mere blocks of Republicans or Democrats; there are just variations of purple that represent states where there are lots of Democrats and lots of Republicans, even if there are more of the one than the other.
What's the relevance of that? Well, to make it more concrete: take California. Solid blue state, right? Yet almost 45% of the voters there - nine out of every twenty Californians - voted Bush in 2004. Now ask yourself, within California, who are those 45% of Bush voters, and who are the 55% of Kerry voters? Where do they live exactly? And which group is the more wealthy one, and which the poorer one? Consider, for example, that LA, the city, is wholly blue; while Orange county is a Republican stronghold.
Same issue plays across the country. The deep south is one of the poorest parts of the country. They are also majority-Republican voting states. But even in those states, some 35%-45% voted for Kerry. So even there, there are lots of Democrats as well as Republicans, and now ask yourself, within
those states - who votes for which party? And which group is the wealthier one? In Alabama, do Democratic voters on the whole represent the poorer or the wealthier part of the population? Consider that the Democrats might take the odd enclave of higher-educated, higher-income urban voters, but that their bedrock of support in the state is the much larger African-American population.
Well, et cetera ad infinitum. There are lots of regional specificiies. In Idaho, Democrats have their best scores in the prosperous, urban parts of the state. But in most states, it's the urban city areas where the Democrats do best that are the poorest, while the Republicans are dominant in the more prosperous suburbs and exurbs.
Now luckily, we can skip this discussion altogether if the question is which party represents the wealthier or the less wealthy part of the population. We have no need to resort to geographical analysis of this kind to figure that out. Because political support by income level has been researched exhaustively, from simple opinion polls to demographically weighted exit polls to academic research. And the result, on the national level at least, is always the same. Not just are Republican voters wealthier on average, but there is a direct correlation. The wealthier the income group, the larger the share of support of the Republicans is.
The last presidential elections gave a perfect example of this, and I made a thread about it at the time
. Let me repost the table with the data here:
2003 total family income:
% Total Kerry Bush Nader
Under $15,000 8 63 36 1
$15,000-$29,999 15 58 41 0
$30,000-$49,999 22 51 48 0
$50,000-$74,999 23 44 55 1
$75,000-$99,999 14 46 53 0
$100,000-$149,999 11 43 56 1
$150,000-$199,999 4 43 57 -
$200,000 or more 3 37 62 1
As I wrote in that thread:
[Of course,] a lot of non-rich people voted Bush too. And if you use Kerry's definition of rich (which indeed is not mine), an overwhelming majority of Bush's voters was non-rich.
But [although] Bush drew a lot of votes from the 'bottom half' of the income scale as well, Kerry drew more. In fact, if it wasn't for those earning over 150,000 $, Kerry would have won the elections. [..]
Doesnt make any difference in terms of [Bush's] legitimacy of course - rich people deserve their vote just as much as poor people ;-).
But [n]ext time anyone on this board is going to go on about those "liberal elites" and how it's the Republicans who represent "the common folk", I'm gonna remind them of that. The poll shows: the richer, the more likely to have voted Bush. [..]
Or, as I wrote more concisely in another thread:
- Among all income groups below $50,000 family income, Kerry won.
- Among all income groups above $50,000 family income, Bush won.