“In major flip, House Dems now represent richest regions”

David points me to this news article by Dennis Cauchon, which begins:

Democratic members of the House of Representatives now represent most of the nation’s wealthiest people, a sharp turnaround from the long-standing dominance that Republicans have held over affluent districts.

David pointed out a couple things. First, Cauchon writes:

The Democrats’ new coalition of extremes could cause friction on issues such as health care and tax policy because of Democratic proposals to raise taxes on affluent households.

This is true, and it’s a point we discussed in detail in chapter 9 of Red State, Blue State. (See in particular the graph with Reverseworld, Statesworld, Votesworld, and the Real World.)

Later, Cauchon writes:

Wasserman says Republicans have tended to appeal to affluent voters since the Roosevelt era in the 1930s and 1940s but recently have appealed more to Southern and rural voters, who often have lower incomes.

No, richer voters have been about 10-20 percentage points more Republican (compared to poorer voters) for decades, except for a brief period in the 1950s and early 1960s when the gap narrowed. Patterns of rich and poor counties are not the same as patterns of rich and poor voters.

Finally, as we discuss in chapter 5 of Red State, Blue State, the patterns of voting among rich and poor counties are different in different regions of the country. Again, we refer you to the book for details.