Republican-Heavy Counties Eat Up Most Food-Stamp Growth

November 5, 2012 | By
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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in May that he’d written off votes from 47 percent of Americans who are collecting government aid. Turns out many of them are part of his political base.

Seventy percent of counties with the fastest-growth in food-stamp aid during the last four years voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by Bloomberg. They include Republican strongholds like King County, Texas, which in 2008 backed Republican John McCain by 92.6 percent, his largest share in the nation; and fast-growing Douglas County, Colorado.

That means Romney is counting on votes from areas where lower-income people have become more reliant on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps. Mark Baisley, who heads Douglas County’s Republican Party, said many recipients will back Romney in hopes he’ll improve the economy.

“Would you rather be sitting at home wishing you had a job and relying upon the kindness of neighbors?” Baisley said in a telephone interview from Colorado, one of the swing states that Romney and President Barack Obama are battling over. “Or would you rather be self-supporting, with a job that sustains your family?”

In a video from a May fundraiser, Romney said “there are 47 percent who are with him,” referring to Obama, “who are dependent on government.” They “believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

Read the whole story at Bloomberg


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