Consider the following premises, for which I think there is fair degree of consensus (at least according to my knowledge of political history of Latin America, but perhaps more broadly):
the majority of rich individuals vote for right wing parties
there is no clear voting pattern among the poor regarding left and right wing parties
right wing parties favour policies that, even if they might benefit the poor, they certainly benefit the rich (e.g. low taxation, privatisation of companies, free trade, etc)
left wing parties favour policies that, even if they might benefit the rich, they certainly benefit the poor (e.g. higher taxation, more subsidies, more public services at lower costs, protectionist policies, etc)
Then, a natural question arises. Why are the rich more able to identify the party which represents their (class) interests (i.e. right-wing) than the poor?
Possible hypothesis that I have think of are:
- higher education allow for better understanding of policies
- media mainly in control of right-wing parties, obscuring/altering information to the poor
- politicians are normally upper class, so the poor cannot identify easily with them
- demagogic politicians from the right can lure poor voters to them, whereas demagogic politicians from the left cannot lure rich voters to them (but why?)
- left-wing policies are much more evident to be at expenses of the rich than right-wing policies are to be at expenses of the poor. E.g. higher taxes clearly mean taxing the rich more, whereas lower taxes does not directly affect taxation of the poor.
How do different political theory explain this? An answer with references would be greatly appreciated.
Edit (more to come...): as it is natural to expect that a lot of the focus is in the US (as the question was originally phrased in such a way), the evidence in terms of voting patters by income level in the US is not entirely evident in supporting the premises. In general, the likelihood of voting Republican increases with income (see page 50 here) and it is still high for the lowest income. It could be that the proportion voting Democrat among the high income individuals might be higher than its respective proportion for the poor (see here). In the UK the story is slightly more supportive, especially because the rich tend mainly to vote conservative. The poor give a lot of votes to Labour and a less proportion to conservative.