At their national convention, Republicans touted the ability of the individual to achieve success. Democrats spent their convention arguing that people are unlikely to prosper without government intervention.
Under the GOP, Democrats claim, low-income and middle-class families would be trampled in a Darwinian financial struggle. Fostering success while also caring for the poor, they argue, requires policies to redistribute wealth from successful Americans to others through social programs.
Figures from The Chronicle of Philanthropy's “How America Gives” report bolster the Republican view and undermine the Democrats' argument. Those who experience personal success not only do well for themselves, but also good for others. That's particularly true of red-state voters who typically support Republicans. Blue-state voters, it turns out, are far less generous with their own money than they are with other peoples' money.
The Chronicle analyzed the median percentage of income residents give to charity. The eight states ranking the highest voted Republican in the last presidential contest; the seven lowest-ranking states supported Barack Obama.