Pew Research Center
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Almost two-thirds of people who identify as middle class believe that the Republican Party favors "the rich." In contrast, only 35 percent of those who also identify as Republican agree with that assessment. Democrats overwhelmingly concur (8-in-10), twice as many as Independents (although almost 2-in-5 had no opinion).
A quarter of the Republicans surveyed believe that the Democratic party favors the rich, contrasted with 16 percent of all middle class Americans. Six-in-10 Democrats believe the party favors the middle class. Almost half of the Independents had no response to this question.
In this 2008 Pew survey of middle class America, 41 percent said that they were better off today than five years ago, the fewest since 1965 (49%). But 31 percent said that they were worse off, compared to 16 percent in 1965. This is the most pessimistic outlook since Gallup and Pew began this survey.
These survey responses reflect the trends in household income during the past decade, one marked by six years of a Republican president and Congress. The sentiment also deflects the myth of the "rising tide lifts all boats" metaphor that has been a Republican mainstay since 1980 -- although one could argue that the upper 1% of households have been "lifted" at the expense of the other 99%.
The state of the economy could be enough to turn both Congress and the White House over to Democrats in November. But I'm not convinced that single-party control inside the Beltway is the best state of affairs for the majority of us living on the other side.