OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The financial divide between the country’s elites and the vast majority of Americans has dramatically widened during President Joe Biden’s term, and it has the potential to dramatically and negatively impact his reelection bid, according to a weekend report.
As noted by Just the News, the finding was laid bare in a new survey by Rassmussen Reports, which “also found the most highly educated voters with advanced degrees are liberal-leaning and their policy positions are at odds with the rest of the electorate.”
The outlet added:
There were 1,000 members of the “elite” interviewed September 11-26, 2023, and September 14-29 of 2023 for the survey.
The poll defined elites as “those having a postgraduate degree, a household income of more than $150,000 annually, and living in a zip code with more than 10,000 people per square mile. Approximately 1% of the total U.S. population meets these criteria.”
In the survey of 1,000 elites, 73% identified as Democrats, while 14% identified as Republicans. The study also encompassed adults who had attended Ivy League colleges or other prestigious private schools such as Northwestern, Duke, Stanford, and the University of Chicago, Just the News reported.
Furthermore, approximately half of those categorized as “elites” had attended one of these schools, as indicated in the Committee to Unleash Prosperity’s report on the findings, which was published on Friday under the title “Them vs. U.S.”
The outlet noted that comparison results for registered voters came from “independent surveys of 1,000 registered voters, each conducted between May and September 2023.” It asked if respondents’ financial situations were “getting better or worse these days.”
“Only about 20% of all Americans say they believe their finances are getting better now. But among the Elite, that number more than triples to 74% who say they are better off,” the report said.
The pollsters found a similar divide when it came to the issue of personal freedoms.
“When Americans are asked if there is too much or too little freedom, Elites are three times more likely to say that there is too much individual freedom in America than all Americans. Almost six out of ten of the graduates from Elite colleges think there is too much freedom,” read the report.
The poll results revealed that climate change is an “obsession of the very rich and highly educated,” with 77% of elites, including nearly 90% of those who graduated from top universities, supporting energy, gas, and meat rationing as a measure to address climate change. However, this policy is opposed by 63% of registered voters.
In addition, 70% of elites indicated that they would “pay $500 or more each year in taxes and higher costs to reduce climate change, while nearly as many average Americans (72%) said they would only be willing to pay $100 or less a year.”
There was a notable discrepancy between the views of elites and those of other registered voters regarding the ban on gas stoves, gas-powered cars, air conditioning, SUVs, and “non-essential air travel.”\
The results of the survey show that “more than two-thirds of the Ivy Elite school college grads would ban each of these,” but less than one in four average voters were in support of such bans. Also, 70% of the elites surveyed “trust the government to do the right thing most of the time,” which Rasmussen’s report said is “more than twice the nationwide average.”
The report concludes that the elite are a group of Americans with “extraordinary political and societal power” and that they “have views and attitudes that are wildly out of touch with the American people.”
Rasmussen said the “administrative state as well as the regulatory state” have grown wildly over the past several decades, and the “elite no longer thinks they have to have permission from voters” to enact rules and regulations they favor.
“They think if they decided something is right, it should be done. So highlighting the views of this group, I think, will have a big impact, not just on this election, but on what happens in the next presidential administration,” he told reporters. “Every single thing about their perception is wildly out of touch with everyday voters.”
Rasmussen cautioned that Biden and the Democratic Party could potentially lose middle-class voters due to their emphasis on a swift shift to clean energy sources as a strategy to combat climate change. He pointed out that the survey results indicate that the climate change issue is a more significant motivating factor for elites compared to the broader electorate.