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What’s driving Occupy Wall Street, in one chart

at 03:54 PM ET, 10/05/2011

Much of the fervor behind the Occupy Wall Street movement is wrapped up in a the idea of a divide, namely one between Wall Street (which has a lot of money) and everyone else (who doesn’t.) That’s the thrust of “We are the 99 percent” Tumblr, a catalogue of grainy images telling stories of individual economic challenges, that has captured much media attention.

The Tumblr captures a pretty small, and admittedly skewed, segment of the population. But that doesn’t mean it’s unrepresentative. Take a look at a new poll from the Pew Center on People and Press, showing that the number of Americans who think we’re a country divided into the “haves” and “have nots” shot up by 10 percent over the past three years, after a bit of a decline the year prior:

In all political categories, from Republican to independent to Democrat, the number of voters with this view increased. That growing sense of divide is likely one of the factors that has the Occupy Wall Street protest gathering steam rather than fading out.

 
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