CAMPAIGN '96: AMERICA'S NEW CLASS SYSTEM

HOW THE COUNTRY REALLY DIVIDES ITSELF TODAY: NOT ONLY BY ECONOMIC LAYERS, BUT BY THE PATHS TO SUCCESS

LET'S SAY THAT THE THREE leading presidential candidates in 1996 are Bill Clinton, Bob Dole and Pat Buchanan. Is there a precise way to express what's obvious, which is that they are utterly different kinds of people?

The difference isn't background: Clinton and Dole both come from small-town, lower-middle-class Middle America. Buchanan, an accountant's son from the sleepy, segregated Washington of the 1940s, falls roughly into the same range as the other two. It isn't ideology either. Two of the three are Republicans, and two are moderates; we still don't have a clean division into three categories.

But what works precisely...

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