President Clinton got 38 percent of the vote among those making over $100,000. This year Obama earned 49 percent of that vote. He also got 52 percent of a new polling category -those making over $200,000 a year who were no longer among the top 1 percent of earners, as they had been in past elections, but were now the top 6 per cent.
And for all the talk about the surging youth vote, those under 29 went from 17 percent in 1996 and 17 percent in 2004 to a mere to 18 percent of the electorate today -and that youth surge was heavily fueled by the fact that the minority communities are much younger than their white counterparts. Of the 18 percent under age 29 who voted this year, 11 percent were white and 7 percent were minority.
The success of failure of Obamanomics will determine whether the high-income voters stick with the Obama coalition. The youth vote will of course age and the urgency of the cultural moment that presented itself last week will fade.
The president-elect arrives in office with a strong coalition behind him, but one that could very easily fray if the same economic conditions that developed under President Carter develop under President Obama, or if the national security issue returns to the top of the American agenda.