One of my favorite people died recently. Margret Thatcher wasn't soft and cuddly but she was exactly what the British needed. She was a strong willed anti-socialist government "turn-around artist". Maggie was obstinate, headstrong, and self opinionated, and a brilliant student of Milton Freidman and Hayek. She single-handedly caused a revolution in British political thinking. Margaret Thatcher was the first to realize that collectivism (socialism) had reduced the size of the working class. Consequently, her platform ignored the wishes and needs of the poor. She realized that there just weren't as many of them, and most of the very poor didn't vote anyway. This has become a major factor for anyone running for office. You just cannot count on the poor to win an election for you. There are two most significant opinions on the subject.
In America Number 1 is related to the Democrat party. This is the ploy of the Obama Administration - that relies heavily on welfare recipients, unionized workers, government employees, and those vocations dependent on the government. People like to get something for free. It seems to be a natural part of a persons character. If a politician can convince welfare recipients that they are receiving something without cost, they will vote for you. You will have purchased their vote.
In America Number 2 is a tougher sell. It typically requires that undeserving segments of the welfare receiving electorate will no longer get a free ride at the expense of the general (tax paying) population. Those freeloading folks won't vote for you anyway. The larger number of middle class voters - might. Number 2 is (or should be) related to the Republican party - that relies heavily on business people, the self employed, the middle class, and free market solutions. People object to providing welfare to anyone not truly in need of it. If a politician convinces them that their charitable dollars will be restricted and given only to those truly in need, the politician will attract votes from the huge middle class electorate that historically has subscribed to self sufficiency, honest work for a days pay, and personal independence.