Income Gap: Partisan Divide

Photograph by Mark Lennihan/AP Photo

A destitute man sleeps on the sidewalk under a holiday window on Nov. 20, 2013 in New York City.

While President Barack Obama attempts to focus attention on income inequality, a Bloomberg National Poll reveals a partisan divide about how wide the gap is between rich and poor and just what to do about it.

Asked to compare income inequalities now and 10 years ago, 72 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of independents said the gap was getting bigger, compared with 58 percent of Republicans.

When asked if all Americans have an equal shot at getting ahead, 75 percent of Democrats said they don’t, compared with 51 percent of Republicans and 63 percent among independents.

The only group that said everyone has an equal shot was respondents identifying with the Tea Party. Forty-nine percent of Tea Party voters said there’s an equal shot, while 47 percent disagree.

To narrow the income gap, 71 percent of Democrats said new government policies are needed, while 68 percent of Republicans said it would be better to let the marker operate freely. Among independents, 50 percent favored a free-market approach, while 40 percent supported government changes.

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