96% of Millionaires: Us, Rich? Nope

In their eyes, they're your average middle-class Joe Schmoes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2015 10:09 AM CDT
Tough life, no?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Wealth denial: It's real and it's rampant, according to a new CNBC poll. Conducted in March, the network's third Millionaire Survey of 750 Americans with a net worth of at least $1 million shows 84% believe they belong to the middle or upper middle class, though they actually represent the richest 10% of Americans. Some 44% of respondents said they were middle class, 40% said they were upper middle class, and just 5% said they were upper class. In total, only about 4% of those millionaires said they considered themselves to be wealthy. Respondents worth $5 million or more didn't feel much differently: About 72% identified as middle class or upper middle class, and only 11% admitted they were rich.

This apparent denial could stem from the fact that many self-made millionaires started out in the middle class and still favor middle-class values of hard work and family. Experts add there's also a widening gap between the wealthy and the mega-rich. Curious about whom millionaires like politically? When it comes to 2016, they apparently favor Hillary Clinton, with 36% saying she would have their vote among potential candidates. Jeb Bush was second with 20%, followed by Elizabeth Warren with 8%, and Chris Christie with 7%. CNBC notes the poll is especially encouraging for Clinton, as the survey "skews more Republican than the broader voting population." (Hoping to join the millionaire ranks? These four traits could help.)

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