Caroline Kennedy, Elitist?

She’s rich, she’s political royalty, and she’s made a career out of avoiding the limelight. This is the basis of the “elitist” narrative about Caroline Kennedy’s bid for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton.

A potential rival for the senate seat, Republican Representative Peter King, deftly played into it, saying on NY1 that “there is no life experience that would prepare her to be a United States Senator,” and, by contrast with Kennedy, “The average New Yorker can identify with me, because I am one of them.”

Interestingly, though, Kennedy is more popular among less-educated, lower-income New Yorkers than among those on the other end of socio-economic spectrum, according to the USA Today/Gallup poll released yesterday.

New Yorkers with at least some high school education said they’d prefer to see Kennedy appointed rather than “someone else,” 52.5 to 31.1 percent. The margin narrowed among people with some college education, 44.3 to 34.4 percent; and 34.4 to 43.1 percent among college graduates. Post-graduates opposed Kennedy, 32.8 to 46.9 percent.

The same trend was seen when respondents were broken down by monthly income. Those earning under $2,000 a month said they’d like to see Kennedy appointed rather than “someone else”, 63.6 to 21.7 percent; among New Yorkers earning between $2,000 and $4,999, Kennedy was supported 45.7 to 35.4 percent; among those earning between $5,000 and $7,499, Kennedy was opposed by a margin of 38.7 to 42.6 percent; and among New Yorkers earning $7,500 a month or more, Kennedy was opposed 32.3 to 53.9 percent.

When respondents were grouped by political ideology, Kennedy’s strongest numbers were with those who identified themselves as “conservative Democrats,” 65.8 to 22.3 percent. Among liberal Democrats, her numbers were slightly lower, 60.5 to 22.6 percent; and 52.1 to 23.3 among moderate Democrats.


Caroline Kennedy, Elitist?