from Thomas Edsall at The New York Times, How Did the Democrats Become Favorites of the Rich?

In their 2014 paper, Bonica, McCarty, Rosenthal and Poole tracked the sources of money flowing to Democratic candidates and parties from 1980 to 2012. As the accompanying charts show, they found that the share of contributions to Democrats from the top 0.01 percent of adults — a much larger share of the population than the Forbes 400 list — has grown from about 7 percent of total campaign contributions in 1980 to more than 25 percent of contributions in 2012. The same pattern is visible among Republicans, where the growth of fundraising dependence on the superrich has been moving along the same trajectory.

The kinds of congressional districts Democrats are now winning also tilt toward the well-to-do. Data on the median household income of congressional districts provided by ProximityOne, a company that specializes in the analysis of geographic, demographic and economic data, shows the following:

In 2014, the median income of households in Democratic districts was higher than in Republican districts, $53,358 to $51,834. Democrats represent seven of the 10 most affluent districts, measured by household income (four in California, two in Virginia and one in New York). Democrats also represent a majority of the 100 most affluent districts, 54-46.


In this third phase of Progressivism, the Progressives have become the elite ruling class the original Progressives were formed to resist.