Thursday, April 17, 2008

Obama's pop sociology all wrong

Haven't had much to say except at the Register's blog about Obama's bitter-clinging moment about lower-income rural working class people. Today's NYT, however, has an op-ed that makes it worth a comment. Larry Bartels, of Princeton's Center for the Study of Democratic Politics uses studies of voting patterns to debunk almost every aspect of the fancies behind Obama's comments -- which sounded quite reasonable to a lot of people.

Far from being more disillusioned than most, such people (under $60,000, no college degree) have greater faith in government than "cosmopolitans." And their voting patterns when it comes to issues like abortion, gun control, church attendance and the like show less dramatic disparities than the cosmopolitans. Example: those opposed to abortion voted for Bush at only 6 percentage points more than those who didn't. Among "cosmopolitans" (urban, over $60,000, college degree) the disparity was 58 points.

So the affluent are more obsessed with social issues than working class folks, and project what they see among their peers onto working-class people? Looks like it.

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