Why do American professionals vote for the Democrates?

Being a Canadian and having spent most of my adult life in Asia, I can only reflect on my stereotype of the Republicans and American politics.

For some time, I have been aware that university professors overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic Party.
nytimes.com/2005/04/05/opini … nted=print
A recent survey in The Economist magazine points out that professional economists overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party.
economist.com/world/unitedst … d=12342127

Today’s New York Times has an op-ed from David Brooks that states,
nytimes.com/2008/10/10/opini … ?th&emc=th
“The Republicans have alienated whole professions. Lawyers now donate to the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at 4-to-1 rates. With doctors, it’s 2-to-1. With tech executives, it’s 5-to-1. With investment bankers, it’s 2-to-1. It took talent for Republicans to lose the banking community.”

Could it be that all American professionals are unpatriotic communists? But seriously, what gives here?

They’re wising up to reality. They’re comparing the economic prosperity of the Clinton years with the utter disaster of the Bush years, and drawing a logical conclusion: Democrats good, Republicans bad.

Why do American professionals vote for the Democrats?

Thanks for the replies. Of course this fits my stereotype of the gun-tottin’, Bible-quoting Republican, but really, I’d like to hear what the Republicans who support Bush on this forum have to say.

The GOP became the party of huge deficits, unnecessary war, torture, Big Brother, wacko fringe candidates, and dishonest and irresponsible government, resulting in an abysmal image abroad, erosion of civil liberties, and economic catastrophe. Oh, and they don’t believe in science. Of course professionals are abandoning it. :loco:

Of course I know this. This argument is everywhere, including the articles I linked to. What I would like to know is what the Republicans on this forum think about this fact. Presumably, this group doesn’t accept that their fellow Republicans are drawn generally from the poorly educated, untalented, and unintelligent. I would like to know their interpretation of why it appears the Republicans fail to have significant appeal among professional Americans.

I don’t know why you had assumed that American professionals would vote Republican – apparently because you’re Canadian and know about as much regarding US politics as we know about Canadian politics (that is, close to nothing). No offense intended by that prior statement (I confess I know practically nothing about Canadia), but the Democratic party has always had plenty of support from doctors, lawyers, techies and other professionals.

I assume you may be thinking the Republican party is the one that favors corporate interests over those of the individual and the environment, favors cutting taxes for the wealthy, favors big oil/guns/tobacco, and is opposed to spending money on social programs regarding education, healthcare, the arts, and so forth, which is all pretty much true.

And you may have the inaccurate preconception that people with money (ie., professionals) tend to be interested in their own greedy monetary concerns to the exclusion of all else, so they would tend to vote Republican to get their capital gains tax cuts and estate tax cuts and corporate tax cuts and the hell with public support for the schools, the arts, the environmnet and personal liberties, because with their money they can buy what they want and are insulated from the concerns of the “common man.” But that’s where you would be wrong.

First, studies have shown that voters don’t always place their own grubby monetary self-interest over everything else. Voters tend to vote for what they feel is right even if may not benefit them personally to a noticeable extent.

Second, doctors, lawyers and other professionals tend to be highly educated and intelligent, so one would expect them to recognize the value in government support of education, the arts, the environment, social programs, civil liberties, opposition to war, etc. (ie., the Democratic platform). On the other hand, a lot of Republican support seems to come from poorly-educated, small-minded, provincial hicks (“joe sixpack” as Palin constantly reminds us) who not surprisingly favor gun ownership, oil drilling, lifting of environmental and workplace safety constraints, don’t give a damn about civil liberties or the arts, and are pro-War because we’re the greatest nation on earth goddamn it and we should just go in there and bomb the shit out of those ayrab bastards, to teach them a lesson for 9-11. (Check out the maps of red and blue states. Democrats get heavy support from the big cities on the East and West Coasts, ie., educated professionals, while Repubs get the Middle of the country, ie., farmers, ranchers, oilmen and other rural and blue collar workers).

Third, people of all parties and backgrounds are sick and tired of 8 years of the incompetent monkey and how the Republicans have screwed things up so badly and are ready for change.

[quote] Barack Obama now leads John McCain by double digits, 52 percent to 41 percent among registered voters—a marked shift from the last Newsweek poll, conducted one month ago, when the two candidates were tied at 46 percent.

Underlying Obama’s surge in support: An historic boiling over of dissatisfaction with the status quo. An astounding 86 percent of voters now say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States, while a mere 10 percent say they are satisfied. . .

Twenty-five percent of voters say they approve of the job President Bush is doing in the White House, a record low for any president in the NEWSWEEK poll . . . Voters are crying out for change . . . Asked which ticket they thought was most likely to bring about change if elected, voters said Obama-Biden over McCain-Palin 52 percent to 37 percent.[/quote]
newsweek.com/id/163339

There’s a lot here and I have to go hiking today, but here’s a quick answer.

Despite conventional belief, poor Americans don’t vote Republican.
guardian.co.uk/commentisfree … omment.usa

and this trend was stronger historically
krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/1 … nd-voting/

My question is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I know you and others are right, but I’d like to hear the interpretation of the old style Republicans here who constantly support policies that no longer reflect true conservativism. How can an educated conservative support a party that believes scientific researchers know less about the world than Fundamentalist Christian ministers?

Tort reform.

And seriously, we know that lawyers always act in the best interest of greater society. They never act in their own self interest.

You forgot dead people. Dead people vote exclusively for Democrats.

Dead people have traditionally favored the Democratic party and its candidates. Its amazing. Dead people vote for Democrats even more than black people do!

The “economic prosperity” of the Clinton years was just as illusory, in hindsight, as the “healthy economy” of the first six years of the Bush presidency. Whatever real economic benefits we enjoyed then were more the serendipitous result of the peace dividend at the end of the Cold War before the even more costly era of endless War With Islam began in 2003.

President Obama is an honorable, intelligent person but the traditional Democratic prescriptions were barely adequate to the task in good times and are woefully inadequate for solving structural problems in troubled times.

Academics/Economists/Lawyers hardly qualify as representing the “professional” class of USA voters. This is a slim survey of liberal elites with a decidedly left-wing historical bend. Economists may be the token exception to this as they tend to be more center/conservative leaning as they actually begin to grasp what works in a society.

Beyond this cherry-picker group you will find that business professionals, company owners and those who provide for the employment and well being of other are overwhelmingly supportive of ‘conservative’ political policies which are more frequently represented by the Republican Party candidates.
Societal stability is more important to people making a living and providing for their families well-being and future. This is rarely, if ever, the situation with the chaos and discord which is the hallmark of a radical leftist junta in power.
‘People vote with their feet’ when this occurs. (an old and well documented term for fleeing the country when leftists take over)

The disastrous fiscal folly of your man Bush is about to upend millions of people onto the unemployment heap. Are you saying his was a left wing junta?

First here’s a history lesson, since I realise you Americans typically lack a clear historic and geographic perspective. The term “voting with their feet” was coined by Lenin to describe the mass desertion of Russion soldiers in WWI. But left wing juntas? I’m guessing you’ve moved your gaze south of the US here. But yes, quite right, and typically because an American armed and financially backed right wing group is busy undermining the political process with a terror campaign of torture and death squads.

HG

And even among US readers of the conservative, pro-business Economist magazine, 81% favor Obama, compared to just 19% for McCain.
economist.com/vote2008/

Here are some of the reasons why they feel that way.

That was the interesting thing to me, that the group of Democrats included in this list included not just traditional professionals. To repeat myself, the exact quote was,

It’s strange that you would include investment bankers and IT executives among the liberal elite. My guess is that had I asked what occupations constitute this “elite” group, you would not have picked these apriori. I wonder how many other professional groups I would have to have data from before you would concede that professionals in general do not support the Republicans.

I think I stated in my additional comments that education has historically correlated with support for the Republicans. My understanding is that income still does. But not all educated people are able to attain professional employment. Most managers at McDonald’s are now university graduates and many of whom we call ‘the educated’ hold business and accounting designations.

It makes me wonder then, what is it about the Republicans that would make an MBA working at Wal-Mart vote for them, but one of those now unemployed investment bankers at Goldman-Sachs see them as something quite different?

That was the interesting thing to me, that the group of Democrats included not just traditional professionals. To repeat myself, the exact quote was,

It’s strange that you would include investment bankers and IT executives among the liberal elite. My guess is that had I asked what occupations constitute this “elite” group, you would not apriori have picked these. I wonder how many other professional groups I would have to have data from before you would concede that professionals in general do not support the Republicans?

I think I stated in my additional comments that education has historically correlated with support for the Republicans. My understanding is that income still does. But not all educated people are able to attain professional employment, and not all high income people are professionals. Most managers at McDonald’s are now university graduates and many of whom we call ‘the educated’ hold business and accounting designations.

It makes me wonder then, what is it about the Republicans that would make an MBA working at Wal-Mart vote for them, but one of those now unemployed investment bankers at Goldman-Sachs see them as something quite differen?

I don’t know how I missed it at the time, but I now know the real response to this point. While lawyers and professors support the Democrats, sports magnets like Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture support the Republicans (even though he plans on banning their sport). And while the greatest actors of our time publicly supported Barack Obama,
tw.youtube.com/watch?v=E9tWNpjOCFk
nj.com/elections/index.ssf/2 … uppor.html
John McCain was endorsed by John Rambo.
firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/ … 05716.aspx
and Texas Walker Ranger
elections.foxnews.com/2008/01/24 … -huckabee/

If only I’d know this!

Rambo was played by an American, but written by a Canadian professional. The novel “First Blood” was written by David Morrell, a Canadian from Kitchener, Ontario, and the movie was filmed in Hope, BC, Canada.

davidmorrell.net/
fast-rewind.com/rambo.htm

Sorry for late response, but I just read this today.
First of all, it isn’t rejection of the “Republican” label as it isn’t embracing the “Democrat” label. It’s simply about McCain versus Obama.
I think key here is “policies that no longer reflect true conservativism.” Of course I personally don’t support those policies and have mostly kept quiet during this election cycle.
McCain isn’t conservative and doesn’t lead the base. In fact, 20% of conservatives actually voted for Obama. My stance is that McCain is only a little better than Obama. Now I’m relieved that the Republican Party can ditch McCain and doesn’t have to fake support for another eight possible years.
People have either forgotten or don’t know what the Carter years were. Perhaps we will see that again. I believe the Nixon years, like Bush, got the wheels rolling for greater inflation and recession because of excessive loose-money policies by Fed governor Arthur Burns (just like Alan Greenspan), and then Carter exacerbated it with extreme liberal policies, which Obama may very well do. Inflation is down now, but many economists believe it is just a hiatus, which also happened twice, in 1971 and 1974.
This article makes an interesting comparison between Bush being Hoover and Obama being Roosevelt:
Don’t Look Now, There’s a Huge Wave of Inflation Coming Toward Us
Tip for Obama: Learn From 1970s Inflation, Shun `Thousand Cuts’

 As for your quip on scientific research versus Christians, that wasn't really the issue in the States.  McCain isn't even on that bandwagon, which probably hurt him more with Republican voters than helped.  Successful Reagan was a creationist, and the next successful conservative will be also.  Keep in mind that both evolution and creationism draw on science for support and neither could be said to be proven or disproven by scientific research.

“Can be said” depends on the honesty of the one doing the saying. The fact is that creationism has been repeatedly and soundly debunked by scientific research, and evolution is overwhelmingly and consistently supported by it.

[quote=“Chris”]
“Can be said” depends on the honesty of the one doing the saying. The fact is that creationism has been repeatedly and soundly debunked by scientific research, and evolution is overwhelmingly and consistently supported by it.[/quote]
Not if you’re using a strict definition of science and scientific laws. Bsides, evolution (if true) is more appropriately labeled history than science. I don’t mind furthering this discussion on a new or different thread. It’s a huge subject that drifts significantly from the theme on this thread.