Most Americans believe that wealth should be more evenly distributed, according to a new Gallup poll.
Sixty-three percent of respondents said they believe money and wealth should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of people, while 31 percent said distribution is already fair enough.
That number reached its highest point in April 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, when 68 percent of Americans said wealth should be distributed more evenly.
While the call for increased equality seems to have grown in recent years, attitudes have remained largely unchanged since Gallup first began asking the question 30 years ago, when 62 percent support wealth distribution.
As with most issues, Americans' views are divided along partisan and ideological lines. Eighty-six percent of Democrats and 85 percent of liberals said they favor such policies, while 34 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of conservatives said the same, according to Gallup.
Annual household income also came into play. In households making at least $75,000, only 54 percent favored redistribution of wealth, while in households with incomes below $30,000, 74 percent agreed that wealth should be more evenly distributed.
A recent PBS report found that the world's wealthiest 1 percent is likely to control more than 50 percent of global wealth by 2016, with lobbying playing a huge role in their ability to accumulate more wealth.
Being that so many Americans favor more equal distribution of wealth, and that the issue has picked up steam in the news, candidates on both sides of the political spectrum in the 2016 presidential race are expected to address the issue and offer solutions. Though less than half of Republicans support increased income distribution, most are realizing that large portions of their voters, mainly independents and Hispanics, do support the issue.
"One way presidential and other political candidates will attempt to differentiate themselves from their competitors concerning inequality will likely be their proposed remedies for it," explained Gallup's Frank Newport. "Democrats have generally been more likely to endorse government policies designed to reduce the wealth at the top end of the socioeconomic spectrum and help increase it at the bottom. Republicans have been more likely to endorse mechanisms that would make it easier for those at the bottom to move up the economic ladder by their own initiative.
"Still, given that a not insubstantial 29% of Republicans agree with the idea of heavy taxes on the rich, and that a Republican presidential candidate has to assemble some votes from outside of Republican ranks to win a general election, candidates from both parties will most likely consider a wide spectrum of choices or ways of addressing inequality."
The poll was conducted April 9-12 among a random sample of 1,015 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percent.