Income Inequality and Partisan Voting in the United States


  • *Direct correspondence to Andrew Gelman, Department of Statistics and Department of Political Science, Columbia University 〈〉. The authors will share all data and coding information with those wishing to replicate the study. The authors thank the U.S. National Science Foundation and Institute for Educational Sciences for partial support of this research.


Objectives. Income inequality in the United States has risen during the past several decades. Has this produced an increase in partisan voting differences between rich and poor?

Methods. We examine trends from the 1940s through the 2000s in the country as a whole and in the states.

Results. We find no clear relation between income inequality and class-based voting.

Conclusions. Factors such as religion and education result in a less clear pattern of class-based voting than we might expect based on income inequality alone.