The American people overwhelming perceive the Republican party as the party of the rich. According to a new Pew Research poll, 63 percent think the GOP favors the wealthy while just 23 percent think it favors the middle class, and almost no one thinks the party favors the poor. By comparison there is a more equal distribution regarding what income group people think the Democratic party favors. From Pew:
This perception is also consistent in the presidential race. The poll found 71 percent believe Romney policies would help the rich while only 37 percent think Obama’s policies would. 40 percent think Romney’s policies would help the middle class, while 50 percent think Obama’s policies would help the middle class. When it comes to the poor 60 percent think Obama’s policies will help people with low incomes while only 31 percent think Romney’s policy will help those the worst off.
What is remarkable is that even though there is such a huge gap in which income groups the parties favor, it does not seem to have dramatically impacted the election. Obama and Romney are basically tied, and in the generic congressional ballot polls Democrats and Republicans are also basically tied.