My favorite exit-poll factoid this year comes near the end of the quadrennial Edison-Mitofsky questionnaire, as reported on the NBC News web site. The pollsters asked people leaving their voting places whether Barack Obama’s policies, and Mitt Romney’s policies, “generally favor[ed]” the rich, the middle class, or the poor—and respondents could give more than one answer. Among Obama supporters, 86 percent said that Obama’s policies favored the middle class, with another 25 percent saying that they favored the poor. Only 12 percent of Romney’s supporters, by contrast, believed that Obama’s policies favored the middle class while a whopping 74 percent said that they favored the poor—not a good thing in Romneyworld.
But the interesting numbers come in the answers to the question on Romney’s policies. Not surprisingly, 87 percent of Obama supporters said the Mittster’s policies favored the rich, while 0 percent said they favored the poor. Among Romney’s own supporters, only 10 percent said his policies favored the rich and, just like Obama supporters, 0 percent said that they favored the poor.
That’s a flat 0 percent across the board who said Romneynomics favored the poor.
Now, 0 percent is a number you don’t come across very often in polling. Usually, you can count on 2 or 3 percent of respondents to hear the question wrong and answer accordingly. But in this case, in a poll of nearly 20,000 people, there was absolute consensus: Nobody, but nobody, thought Romney cared enough about the poor to do anything for them. Nevermind Paul Ryan’s protestations, or those of various GOP polemicists, that supply-side trickle-down would benefit the poor more than any Democratic policies would. Ryan not only failed to convince Obama’s supporters of this, he didn’t convince any of his own and Romney’s supporters, either.
Who says we’re a divided nation? The evidence is incontrovertible: Democrats, Republicans and everyone else agrees that the Republican ticket wouldn’t have done jack for the poor.