Gallup poll reveals interesting divide based on job classification
In a way, the fact that those in the professions - architect, doctor, teacher, engineer - support Obama while executives and business owners back Romney reveals how our economy has changed over the last few decades.
Construction, mining manufacturing, farming, fishing -- these are traditional blue collar jobs. And Romney is blowing away Obama in those categories.
Another big and growing category is retail sales persons. Here again, Romney has a wide lead over the president.
The president leads among service workers and professionals. What these people might have in common is their membership in a public or private union or professional societies dominated by liberals. Police, firefighters, teachers, health care workers, hotel employees, and also accountants, scientists, and nurses -- those with post-graduate degrees -- support the president.
There are fewer blue collar workers today than 20 years ago, more service workers, more retail sales people, and slightly fewer business owners. The biggest jump in numbers employed has been service workers who now constitute the second largest voting bloc behind professionals.
Then there are government workers:
In addition to the type of work people do, Gallup assesses worker attitudes based on government employment status. About 17% of all working voters in this sample are employed by federal (4%), state (7%), or local (6%) governments. These government workers, as a whole, support Obama over Romney, by nine points. There are, however, significant differences by type of government employment. State workers, the largest group of government employees, are the strongest Obama supporters. Local government workers tilt slightly toward Obama, while federal workers split their vote, 46% for Romney and 45% for Obama.
We can make a back of an envelope calculation and say that, generally speaking, those who depend on government for something, be it salary, contracts, or protection - as many unions do - support Obama while those who don't need government for much at all support Romney.
It's not between the haves and have nots. This race - and probably politics for the foreseeable future - will be between those who need and those who don't need government to thrive.