As we have noted before on these pages, in 2020 Trump was the candidate of the middle class, and especially blue-collar working class Americans, while Biden won the poorest and the super-rich counties. The rich in America are now predominantly leftists.
Now we are getting the microdata on voting by cities. Take Winnetka, Illinois on the north shore of Chicago and one of the wealthiest towns in the United States with an average household income of $165,000 a year. As recently as 2012, 55 percent of residents voted for Mitt Romney. In 2020, 67 percent voted for Joe Biden.
Has to be the reigning champion of rich white suburban backlash against Trump, right? This or Buckhead. https://t.co/VrWCy716Zu
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) December 26, 2021
Another example is Darien, Connecticut, home to many hedge-fund executives.
In 2012, Barack Obama won only 34 percent. But in 2020, Joe Biden won 61 percent. Or Buckhead, an uber-affluent part of Atlanta with an average household income of $205,000 a year. Obama won only 39 percent there in 2012, but Biden reversed that outcome by winning 61 percent in 2020.
We have a theory on what is going on here. Voting for progressive policies is a luxury good. If you are super rich you can afford the negative effects of leftist policies like inflation and feel good about yourself for being a social justice warrior.
A study by Harvard and Vanderbilt academics called “Morals As Luxury Goods” confirms our suspicions. It concluded that as people get richer, they give more weight to moral considerations — and less to material ones — when formulating their partisan preferences. They can support trendy issues such as climate change, higher taxes, racial preferences, defunding the police, because they are unaffected by the negative consequences.
But they just don’t want the policies in their backyards. The rich liberals in Buckhead want to secede from the city of Atlanta due to a soaring crime rate.