Why voter turnout drives in poor areas matter | Arkansas Blog

Why voter turnout drives in poor areas matter

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Here's an article that gives a clear explanation
for the motivation behind laws that make it harder for poor people to vote — voter ID, reduced early voting hours, fewer polling places, etc.

When voter turnout skews toward the higher income (and it already does), the vote skews conservative.

For decades, the conventional wisdom in political science was that the voting electorate was a “carbon copy” of the non-voting electorate, leading two political scientists to argue that, “outcomes would not change if everyone voted.” Although the thesis was tenable in the 1980s and even 1990s, wide chasms have opened up on class lines, and therefore voting lines as well.

As Larry Bartels recently noted, “No other rich country even came close to matching [the U.S.] level of class polarization in budget-cutting preferences.” In a recent study with Bartels and Jason Seawright, Benjamin Page finds that the wealthiest one percent are more conservative than the population as a whole. Within their sample, the wealthiest tended to be even more conservative than the less wealthy participants. They find that even wealthy Democrats are more conservative on economic issues than Democrats on the whole. This comports with a vast literature finding that the wealthy tend to be more economically conservative and therefore likely to support Republicans


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