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Romney wraps up the rich vote

By Laurie Bennett

March 8, 2012 at 9:03am

Rachel Maddow showed some fascinating graphics Wednesday, illustrating voter affluence in the Republican primaries.

In state after state, Romney failed to win over voters who made less than $100,000. Just as consistently, he carried the $100,000+ crowd.

The pattern wouldn’t be earth shaking but for another, related trend. More wealthy people are voting. It’s not that there are more rich people. It’s just that more of them are going to the polls. (We should note that $100,000 doesn’t come close to the definition of ultra-rich in America. It’s a convenient cutoff point for exit pollsters, who are not asking voters about net worth or whether they make $380,000 or more annually.)

In such crucial states as Ohio and Michigan, support of wealthy voters put Romney over the top.

At the same time, The New York Times reports, Romney campaign fundraising is dragging because many big donors have already reached their limits of $2,500 per election.

Times reporters Nicholas Confessore and Ashley Parker write: “With an unusually large proportion of his donors already giving the maximum contribution allowed by federal law, Mr. Romney’s campaign has made repeated appeals to grass-roots donors in recent days, including a thank-you note from Mr. Romney, sent just minutes after he was declared the victor in Ohio’s primary, asking supporters for $10 contributions.”

Romney has a couple of big safety nets.

First, there is Restore Our Future, the super PAC that is supporting him without the bothersome problem of contribution limits. The Sunlight Foundation notes that the PAC spent $6.8 million in super Tuesday states.

And then there’s Romney’s personal fortune, estimated to be as much as $250 million. The candidate said Tuesday that he has not ruled out using his own money.

Here’s the video. (The full report is interesting, but if you want to go straight to the wealthy voter segment, skip to the 5-minute mark.)

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