WHAT IS LIBERALIZING WALMART SHOPPERS…?

The demographic of the Weekly Walmart Shopper is politically changing, and not in the direction you might think. The person shopping at Walmart on a weekly bases is more likely to African American or Hispanic and liberal or moderate than just a few years ago. What is driving this change? John Zogby, in The Dramatic Democratization of the Weekly Wal-Mart Shopper writes:
First, let's look at the Weekly Wal-Mart Shopper. When I first started to look, in the 2000 election, this was a bedrock conservative and Republican constituency. The WWMS could be counted upon to vote solidly for George W. Bush in both his election and re-election, as well as support the candidacies of members of Congress and the Senate. They were white, self-described conservatives, tending to be Born Again, evangelical, and rural. And they told us that Wal-Mart was not only a place to shop for low prices but also a place that represented their homespun values.
Homespinning has changed.
Today 30% of Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers call themselves liberal (up from 12%), 31% are moderate (up from 24%), and 39% are conservative (down from 60%). Only 35% own a gun, 40% say they are members of the Creative Class, and 45% now have passports. Interestingly, 19% say they have gone without food for 24 hours at a time "because of a lack of money or food", compared with 6% who said so in 2010 (the first time we were able to compare). Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers voted for Barack Obama twice. Some of this has to do with the spread of Wal-Marts to big cities in larger metropolitan areas. In the process the chain has been able to cater to a much more diverse group of people. A good deal has had to do with economic hard times which has also served to democratize (and Democratize) its customer base. Today 30% of Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers call themselves liberal (up from 12%), 31% are moderate (up from 24%), and 39% are conservative (down from 60%). Only 35% own a gun, 40% say they are members of the Creative Class, and 45% now have passports. Interestingly, 19% say they have gone without food for 24 hours at a time “because of a lack of money or food”, compared with 6% who said so in 2010 (the first time we were able to compare). Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers voted for Barack Obama twice. Some of this has to do with the spread of Wal-Marts to big cities in larger metropolitan areas. In the process the chain has been able to cater to a much more diverse group of people.
Zogby rightly points to the Republican birthed Great Recession as a major factor.
A good deal has had to do with economic hard times which has also served to democratize (and Democratize) its customer base.
Can radicalize and revolutionize be far behind? Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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