Lower income voters may not be as large of a Democratic voting bloc as once thought, but more importantly they may not vote much at all, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. “Because of their greater uncertainty about candidate preference and their lower propensity to vote, the least financially secure were poorly represented at the ballot box, with just 20 percent of this group predicted to turn out,” wrote Pew. The Pew study states that 80 percent of the lower-income demographic are not considered likely voters. The survey also says 42 percent prefer Democrat candidates, 41 percent are undecided and 17 percent prefer Republican candidates. Last year the Washington Post‘s Dylan Matthews poked holes in a theory supported by conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh and activist Gary Bauer that lower-income people are a formidable voting bloc.
Dylan explained that those in poverty could still constitute a voting bloc just not one as powerful as Limbaugh and Bauer some think. The article pointed out that obstacles like work schedules and transportation make it difficult for lower-income citizens to get to polling places.
“These facts alone doesn’t disprove Limbaugh and Bauer’s core theory, that government programs build in a constituency that can support welfare programs,” Dylan wrote. “But that theory has its own problems.”
According to a recent article in the Atlantic, from a financial standpoint, the poor are less represented than the Pew Research findings about voting say they are.