The party of the truly rich

From Christopher Caldwell:

The cliché that Republicans are the rich people’s party makes a certain amount of common sense if you are just looking around your Middle American suburb. You will notice that the man making $200,000 a year is marginally more likely to vote Republican than his neighbor making $50,000. But in suburbia, the word “rich” is really a kind of slang, meaning “slightly better off.” Johnson isn’t talking about those people. He is talking about people who are rich-with-a-capital-R, the ones who can convert wealth into political power, the ones whose annual income is measured in millions, or tens of millions. Again, how do they vote, and who is their party?

We can formulate a guess by looking at the 20 ZIP codes that pour the most money into the political system. This list coincides fairly well with any list of the 20 richest neighborhoods in the United States. All but one of those 20 neighborhoods give the majority of their money to Democrats. (The exception is McLean, Virginia, which gives 48 percent to Democrats.) Most of them give the overwhelming majority of their money to Democrats. For example, none of the 7 Manhattan neighborhoods listed—where we can assume Johnson’s oligarchs live—gives less than 71 percent of its money to Democrats.

Contributions to Major-Party Candidates in the Top 20 ZIP Codes


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