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Survey: Rich/Poor Conflict Explodes

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(Source:AP)

(Source:AP)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Democratic strategist James Carville created an entire campaign behind the motto of “it’s the economy stupid.”

But this year, it may be more than just the economy that helps decide the presidential election.

According to the Pew Research Center, roughly two-thirds of adults believe there is a strong or very strong conflict between the rich and the poor.

The shift was an increase of 19 percent from 2009 and the biggest gains were among young adults, women, Democrats, and African-Americans.

The biggest increases in perceptions of class conflicts happened with political liberals and amongst independent voters.

Pew said that the changes may reflect a “growing public awareness of underlying shifts in the distribution of wealth in American society.”

But, according to the Pew survey, Americans are not necessarily ready to direct their anger towards the wealthy.

According to the poll, 46 percent said the wealthy got that way “because they know the right people or were born into wealthy families. Forty-three percent said it was because of their “own hard work, ambition, or education.”

A recent Gallup survey also found that fewer than half of Americans said reducing the gap between rich and poor is “extremely” or “very important,” compared with more than 8 in 10 who said policies to build economic growth should be a high priority for government.

  • Click here to read the full report from the Pew Research Center.
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