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Wealthy Voters: Please Raise Our Taxes

David Callahan

It's hard to recall a presidential election in which the Democratic candidate so aggressively called for higher taxes on the affluent. Yes, Obama made similar proposals in 2008, and Gore ran a pretty populist campaign in 2000, but none of that compares to how this year Obama repeatedly hammered the idea that taxes on the rich need to go up, and how his campaign excoriated Romney for not paying his fair share of taxes.

Are there voters out there who didn't know, going into the polling booth, that Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich? I'm sure there were, but not very many.

Which means that it's fair to say that the 42 percent of voters making over $250,000 a year who voted for Obama knew that they were voting to raising their own taxes.

You read that right: President Obama, who was endlessly criticized for engaging in class warfare, ended up winning nearly half of all voters in the top 2 percent. He didn't do nearly as well with this group as in 2008, when Obama won upper income voters by 6 points, but the results are still striking.

There are different ways to interpret Obama's success with affluent voters -- most obviously, that many of these voters are highly educated, live in blue states, and are liberal on social issues. Still, the salience of the tax issue in this election makes one point clear: A large swath of those Americans who are being pushed to pay higher taxes by the President are ready and willing to do so.