Middle-class Americans voice the strongest disagreement with the decision by FBI Director James Comey to not urge indictment for Hillary Clinton, while the Democrats’ bipolar alliance of wealthy people and government-dependent poor are far more willing to excuse her careless handing of classified information, according to a new poll by Rasmussen Reports.
The stark clash between the GOP-leaning core of middle Americans and the Democrats’ high-low coalition of the extremes is repeatedly shown in cross-tabs from the July 5 poll by Rasmussen.
Sixty-seven percent of middle-level voters who graduated from high school (but who did not complete college) disagree with Comey’s July 5 decision to oppose indictment of Clinton, because her behavior was reckless but not intentionally harmful. Also, 62 percent of college dropouts and 55 percent of college graduates disagreed with Comey’s decision. But that disagreement figure drops at the high and low extremes of education — to only 40 percent of people with graduate degrees, and to 37 percent of high-school dropouts.
Similarly, 60 percent of people who earn $30,000 to $50,000 disagree with Comey’s Clinton exception — but that figure drops in the economic extremes, down to only 50 percent of people who earn more than $200,000, and to 54 percent of people who earn under $30,000.
Of course, political preferences skew answers. Only 25 percent of Democrats disagreed with Comey’s exception, while 79 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of “others” disagreed.
But those overlapping divides also mean that many middle-income, middle-education and swing voters are leaning towards Donald Trump’s sharp disagreement with the Comey exception, and towards Trump’s campaign claim that the system is “rigged.”
That pro-Trump lean by the middle was highlighted by another question in the poll; “Do powerful people get preferential treatment when they break the law?”
The ‘agree’ response was highest among GOP-leaning middle groups — up to 84 percent among people who earn between $50,000 to $100,000, and then up to 87 percent among people who earn between $30,000 and $50,000. The ‘agree’ response rose to 86 percent among college graduates, 89 percent among college drop-outs and 82 percent among high-school graduates.
But respondents in the Democrats’ high-low bipolar coalition were more likely to trust President Barack Obama’s government. So the ‘agree’ response drops among the Democratic-leaning extremes, down to 77 among high-school dropouts, to 73 percent people who earn $200,000 and then down to 70 percent among postgraduates.
That split — the high/low coalition against the middle — is mirrored by the poll’s cross-tabs for partisan affiliation. Eighty-seven percent of GOP voters now think powerful people get preferential treatment, while just 71 percent of Democrat share that view.
Unhappily for Democrats, 87 percent of swing-voting others believe powerful people get preferential treatment.
Similarly, the people who describe themselves as ideological moderates also oppose Comey’s Clinton exception by 53 percent to 36 percent support. That score is closer to conservative voters, who split 75 percent to 19 percent against, than to the liberal voters, who split 23 percent against to 63 percent support for the Clinton exception.
People who describe themselves as political “others” oppose the Clinton exception by 63 percent to 23 percent. Again, that’s closer to GOP voters – who split 79 percent to 17 percent against, than to liberals, who split 25 percent against to 64 percent support for the exception.