Highlighting Poverty in the 2012 Election

Email a Friend
From and

Throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, politicians from both sides of the fence have prioritized the middle class, and the political conventions were no exception. According to a data map from our partner The New York Times, Democrats uttered the phrase "middle class" 47 times for every 25,000 words spoken, while Republicans said it seven times for every 25,000 words. The similar phrase "small business" was also popular: Republicans said it 27 times for every 25,000 words, Democrats, 14 times. 

Compared to those phrases, politicians from both parties barely mentioned the words "poor" and "poverty," even though the recent recession and economic downtown has left one in six Americans living below the poverty line. 

Politicians have largely ignored poverty in 2012, but Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are hitting the road to expose the problems facing the American poor in this election year.

Cornel West is a professor at Union Theological Seminary, and co-host, with Tavis Smiley, of "Smiley and West," from Takeaway co-producer Public Radio International. The first stop on "The Poverty Tour 2.0: A Call to Conscience" is Cleveland, Ohio.