‘Economics, race divide Americans on Obama, Romney’
The supporters of Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney appear to be starkly divided on economic and racial lines.
Washington: With five months to go for America`s next presidential election, the supporters of Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney appear to be starkly divided on economic and racial lines.
While Romney now has a four-point lead over President Obama among the middle-income and upper-income voters, the latter has a wide advantage among lower-income voters, according to a latest Gallup poll.
The polls also found strong racial divides in voting preferences, more so because nonwhites fall disproportionately into the lower-income group.
Romney, the wealthy former head of Bain Capital, has slightly greater appeal to the highest-income voters, those making USD 180,000 or more in annual income.
This group has shown a 53 per cent to 42 per cent preference for Romney since mid-April, compared with 50 per cent to 45 per cent among those earning between USD 90,000 and USD 179,999.
Further, Romney currently has a 49 per cent to 45 per cent edge over Obama among middle-income voters, those whose annual household income is between USD 36,000 and USD 89,999.
Romney has the same lead among upper-income voters, while Obama maintains a wide advantage among lower-income voters, the Gallup Poll said.
Curiously enough, in each of the three major income groups Gallup reports, there are strong racial divides in voting preferences.
Non-Hispanic whites and nonwhites show stark differences in their candidate preferences.
In Gallup tracking since April 11, Romney is the leader among whites in all income groups, including those who are lower income.
At the same time, Obama has a commanding lead among nonwhites in all income groups, it said.
Obama`s large lead among low-income voters overall is due to two factors, it said.
First, lower-income nonwhites prefer Obama to Romney by a 68-point margin, compared with smaller 55-point and 52-point margins among middle- and upper-income nonwhites, respectively.
At the same time, Romney has a smaller lead among lower-income white voters (10 points) than among middle- (19 points) or upper-income white voters.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, nonwhites fall disproportionately into the lower-income group.
Nearly half of nonwhites, 49 per cent, report annual household incomes of less than USD 36,000.
And 38 per cent of those in the lower-income group are nonwhite, compared with 22 per cent of those in the middle-income group and 17 per cent in the upper-income group, Gallup said.