Wow. No wonder income inequality is a more important issue among Congressional Democrats. As you can see from the chart above, income inequality is a bigger factor in many of the districts represented by Democrats than among those represented by Republicans.
The graph is from a genuinely interesting article by Michael Zuckerman at The Atlantic which considers issues of income inequality, political party, Congressional seniority, and ideology.
That is, the most senior Democrats in Congress—and their constituents—seem to have far more direct experience with income inequality than the most senior Republicans in Congress. It’s not surprising that they see the issues differently.
None of this is to say that income inequality isn’t a big problem. I believe it is. But then again, I live in the Massachusetts 5th, the 74th most unequal congressional district in the country. It’s no wonder I’m more alive to the problem than a resident of Bachmann’s Minnesota 6th, which comes in 436th place (D.C. included).
While true, none of that establishes the actual objective significance of income inequality. It does go a long way to explaining why individual Congressional representatives may or may not think it’s important.