Income inequality — the rallying cry of political progressives nationwide — is higher in Democratic districts than Republican ones, according to new rankings published by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Using U.S. Census data, researchers at Bloomberg Rankings figured the Gini coefficient of all 435 U.S. Congressional districts
The Gini coefficient is the measure of statistical distribution that puts a number on income distribution of the nation’s residents; it is a figure of the level of inequality.
One of the most interesting facts coming out of the survey, says Bloomberg reporters Joshua Green and Eric Chemi, is that Democrats represent 32 of the 35 districts with the highest inequality. Only two have Republican house members — including Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida — and one is vacant.
Nearly every one of these 35 districts is in an urban center with two groups of people living in close proximity: poor blacks and Latinos and highly educated, well-paid whites. Both groups comprise the base of the Democratic Party.
Ros-Lehtinen’s 27th Congressional District includes parts of Miami moving south along the coast to Homestead. There is a mix of Miami Beach and the minority population living nearby — mostly Cuban Americans, which reliably support the GOP.
The data poses an interesting quandary for Democrats, writes Green and Chemi.
Income inequality links strongly with Democratic representation, and that inequality grows, it poses a threat to Republicans. It is the reason President Obama and the Democrats have embraced it as a talking point. However, it is doubtful the talk will turn into gains for Democrats. When examining the top 100 districts with the highest concentrations of inequality, there are none held by Republican with a serious challenge in November.