Most Americans think the government is doing more to help the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.
According to the survey, 53 percent of Americans think the government does the most to help the rich, while 18 percent think it does most to help the poor, and 8 percent say the middle class.
That puts Americans’ perceptions of what the government actually does wildly at odds with what they think it should do. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they think the government should do most to help the middle class, while 36 percent said it should do most to help the poor. Only 2 percent said that the government should do most to help the rich.
The poll found some partisan division on what the government should be doing. Sixty-six percent of Republicans and 50 percent of independents said the government should do most to help the middle class, while 57 percent of Democrats said they wanted it to do most to help the poor. No more than 3 percent from any party group said the government should do most to help the rich.
Majorities of Democrats and independents who were surveyed said the government now does most to help the rich. Republicans were divided, with 34 percent saying it does most to help the rich and 32 percent saying it does most to help the poor. Less than 10 percent in each group said the government helps the middle class most.
The poll also found 51 percent of Americans think the Republican Party is more interested in helping the rich than the poor or middle class, while finding an almost even divide in who people think the Democratic party is out to help most.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.