Most Americans think that Republicans, along with the government, tend to be on the side of the rich, not the poor or even the middle class
Since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, American politics has become increasingly dominated by the question of inequality and the role of money in politics. On both sides people have argued that the main divisions in society are based on economic status, between the 1% and the 99%, or between the 53% and the 47%. Mitt Romney's secretly filmed comments where he said that the 47% of Americans who don't pay federal income tax are dependent on the government and were bound to vote for President Obama no matter what were widely seen – even by Romney himself – as part of the reason why he lost in 2012.
The latest research from YouGov shows that when Americans are asked whether each major party is most interested in helping the poor, the middle class or the rich, Republicans are viewed by most (56%) as being the party of 'the rich'. This is virtually unchanged from last September, when 51% said the GOP was most interested in helping the rich.
The picture is more mixed for Democrats, with 25% saying they're the party of the rich, 28% saying they're the party of the middle class and 29% saying that their main interests lie with the poor.
Asked about which side the government is on in this three-way economic divide, most Americans (54%) say that the state does more to help the rich than either of the other two groups. Only 9% of Americans think that the government does more to help the middle class than others, while 21% say that the government does more to help the poor.
Democrats (60%) and Independents (56%) are particularly likely to say that the government does more to help the rich than others. Republicans, however, are marginally more likely to say that the government does more to help the poor (41%) than the rich (40%). Only 4% of Republicans think that the middle class benefits most from government action.
Full poll results can be found here.