At a time when the middle class in the United States is losing ground, most Americans say the federal government provides too little help to this segment of society. And as voters begin casting the first ballots in the 2016 presidential election, neither political party is widely viewed as supportive of the middle class in this country.
A national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 8-13, 2015, among 1,500 adults, finds that 62% say the federal government does not do enough for middle-class people, compared with just 29% who say it does the right amount and 6% who say it does too much. These views have changed little since 2011.
And neither political party has a clear edge when it comes to championing middle-class interests. Just32% of the public says the Democratic Party favors the middle class. Similar shares say the party favors either the poor (31%) or the rich (26%).
Views of the Republican Party are much less balanced. A majority of the public (62%) says that the GOP favors the rich, while 26% say it favors the middle class. Just 2% say the Republican Party favors the poor.
BeA Pew Research Center report released in December found that there are now roughly as many adults in middle-income households as in lower- or upper-income households – a decided shift from four decades ago, when middle-income Americans were clearly in the majority. Moreover, the nation’s aggregate household income has substantially shifted from middle-income to upper-income households since 1970.