David Frum

03.06.12

When Did Our Candidates Get So Rich?

Following up on my post below about our out-of-touch candidates, a question for historical researchers:

It seems that the income gap is widening between presidential candidates and the average voter. Barack Obama in 2008 was not a person from a wealthy background, but compared to the typical voter, he was still much wealthier than say, Harry Truman was in 1948.

It would be interesting to see a chart of the relative differential between the combined incomes of the two candidates in any given year and the income of the typical voter in that year. I don't have the answer at hand, but I'd guess off the top of my head that the "narrowest years" out of the past century would be 1924, 1948, 1968, 1972, and 1976; the "widest" 1928, 1960, 1964, 2004, and 2008. But I may be wrong! Has anybody out there ever in Internet land ever considered this data point?