Roughly a quarter of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters have annual family incomes under $30,000, and most of them say that the government does not do enough for poor people in this country. In a survey conducted in early October, 57% of lower-income Republican and Republican-leaning voters held this view; just 18% said that the government does too much for poor people in this country.

Higher-income Republicans took the opposite view. By roughly a two-to-one (44% to 21%) margin, Republicans with incomes of $75,000 or more said that the government does too much — not too little — for poor people.

Despite this finding, lower-income Republicans are just as angry towards and distrustful of government these days as are higher-income Republicans. But in a December 2011 poll, lower-income Republicans expressed a decidedly different view of the relative fairness of the economic system than did those with higher incomes. Republicans and people who lean towards the GOP who have family incomes of less than $30,000 were much more likely than those with incomes of $75,000 or more to say that the current economic system in the U.S. unfairly favors the wealthy. They also believe that Wall Street does more harm than good and that a few rich people and corporations have too much power. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.