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Reality Check: Who’s In The Middle Class?

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The candidates for president are making pitches that sound straightforward: constant appeals to the “middle class”.

But many of you have contacted us to ask: Who’s in the middle class?

Answer: The middle class is a very large group of Americans. Very few of them are undecided voters. They are seniors, women and blue collar workers. And the candidates want their vote.

“The middle income families in America have been crushed over the last four years,” said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the second debate.

President Barack Obama added: “I said I would cut taxes for middle class families, and we did.”

IN FACT:

Forty-nine percent of all Americans consider themselves middle class, according to a new nationwide poll. And U.S. Census figures reveal a family of four needs about $69,000 a year to live a middle class lifestyle.

But that’s NOT THE WHOLE STORY.

The vast majority of middle class Americans think it’s harder to make it now than it was 10 years ago.

And they are right: In 2001, a middle class income was nearly $73,000. Today, it’s nearly $4,000 less ($69,487).

Here’s what you NEED TO KNOW.

The candidates are asking middle class voters for their support, but those voters spread a lot of blame around for the economic situation in which they find themselves.

Including:

Congress. (62 percent)
Big banks. (54 percent)
Big corporations. (47 percent)
George Bush. (44 percent)
Foreign competition. (39 percent)
And Barack Obama. (34 percent)

That’s Reality Check.


Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check:

Washington Post: What is the middle class?

U.S. Census: What is the income of the “middle class”

Pew Research Center: The Lost Decade of the Middle Class

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