Republicans marginalized again in poll about income inequality

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Since: Apr 12

St. Paul, MN

#1 Apr 18, 2014
The conservative vision of the world is in stark contrast to what the rest of the country sees. That's been obvious in all sorts of issues, from abortion to gay marriage to marijuana legalization, but here's an issue that's particularly salient this election year: poverty and income inequality.

Among all Americans, 44 percent said they think poor people are poor mostly because of a lack of opportunities, while only 30 percent said it's mostly because of their individual failings. More specifically, 47 percent said poverty has to do more with the fact good jobs aren't available, while only 28 percent said it's because poor people have a poor work ethic.

Likewise, 52 percent said most wealthy people got where they are primarily because they had more opportunities, while 31 percent said the wealthy just worked harder than other people.

When it comes to unemployment, 51 percent said most are trying to find jobs but can't, while only 36 percent said most could find jobs if they want to. On the other hand, respondents were more divided about the long term unemployed. Forty-five percent said people who have been unemployed more than 6 months are trying to find jobs but can't, while 41 percent said they could find jobs if they wanted to.

Those in the minority on every question were, of course, Republicans who "tended to think the poor are poor because of individual failings, rather than lack of opportunities (48 percent to 23 percent), and that they have a poor work ethic rather than good jobs being unavailable to them (49 percent to 21 percent)." So it's no surprise that 58 percent of Republicans think that the unemployed don't have jobs because they don't want them. Even people making more than $100,000 a year in this poll believe that the rich just have more opportunities available to them than everyone else, by a 49-33 margin.

Here's just one more issue on which Republicans are far, far apart from the mainstream.

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