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Are You a Have or a Have-Not?

Monday, July 1, 2019

From Cheryl Russell for Demo Memo

Most Americans (58%) do not think the U.S. is divided into Haves and Have-nots, according to a Gallup Survey. While this figure is lower than the 71% of 1989, it is higher than the 49% of 2008 (in the midst of the Great Recession).

Those most likely to think the country is divided are Democrats (57%) and Blacks (70%). A smaller 24% of Republicans and 36% of non-Hispanic Whites agree. Hispanic attitudes mirror those of non-Hispanic Whites, with just 38% believing that the country is divided into Haves and Have-nots.

Although the majority of the public does not believe the country is divided into Haves and Have-nots, most Americans can readily classify themselves as one or the other. Fifty-six percent of the public sees itself as a Have, very close to the 58% who deny that the U.S. is divided in such a way. Could it be that the Haves are in denial? Those most likely to see themself as a Have are those with household incomes of $100,000 or more (81%), college graduates (71%), non-Hispanic Whites (64%), and Republicans (71%).

Overall, 36% of Americans identify themselves as a Have-not. Those most likely to see themselves this way are those with household incomes below $40,000, those who did not graduate from college (43%), Blacks and Hispanics (57%), and political independents (45%).

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