Politico: Most affluent voters key to Obama sweep


Published November 11, 2008

Barack Obama promised he would lower taxes for 95 percent of Americans and presumably raise them for the 5 percent who benefited most under President Bush’s tax policies. But, remarkably, the most affluent 5 percent supported Obama and that was perhaps the key to his victory last week.

This group — and the rise of a new elite class of voters — is at the heart of the fast-paced changes in demographics affecting the political, sociological and economic landscape of the country. While there has been some inflation over the past 12 years, the exit poll demographics show that the fastest growing group of voters in America has been those making over $100,000 a year in income. In 1996, only 9 percent of the electorate said their family income was that high. Last week it had grown to 26 percent — more than one in four voters. And those making over $75,000 are up to 15 percent from 9 percent. Put another way, more than 40 percent of those voting earned over $75,000, making this the highest-income electorate in history.

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Politico: ‘Active grannies’ the new soccer moms


Published July 29, 2008

Despite all the talk about this election being driven by the youth vote, America as a nation has never been older and the power of the senior vote has never been greater.

In the relentless quest to find the soccer moms of this election, perhaps the answer will be found in the “active granny” vote — empty-nesters who have found a new freedom in their lives after the kids have left and who look at the world very differently than do their kids graduating college. The seniors of today may not be the so-called Greatest Generation, but they sure are the biggest generation — and their voting power has been compounded by the dramatic expansion in average life expectancy that’s occurred since they were born.

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New York Post: Rise of the Office Romancers

Rise of the Office Romancers

Red Rodell is said to have responded to a reporter’s question about whether the Yale Law School faculty was “polarized” by proclaiming: “Of course not – they’re far too divided for that!”
In a nutshell, that’s also Mark Penn’s diagnosis of the American polity. He notes that the so-called Red/Blue divide is far weaker than generally supposed, but also points out that American society is, in fact, so splintered that dividing along Red and Blue lines makes it seem almost unified by comparison.

Penn, the Clinton pollster who “discovered” soccer moms and is chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, instead slices and dices the American polity into 75 “microtrends.”

Penn defines a microtrend as “an intense identity group [that] has needs and wants unmet by the current crop of companies, marketers, policymakers and others who would influence society’s behavior.” Most of Penn’s book consists of short descriptions of groups he considers particularly significant and unappreciated.