A significant literature in political economy has recently focused on the relationship between income and risk and redistribution preferences. However, it remains unclear whether the interplay between material position and preferences has any influence on political behavior. In this paper we argue that redistribution preferences are indeed a most significant channel shaping vote choice. We test our theoretical claims with data from Western Europe and the US and show that voting for redistributive parties is highly dependent on individual levels of demand for redistribution. The poor and those exposed to more risk are more supportive of redistribution and, in turn, these redistribution preferences make them more likely to vote for redistributive parties. Our analysis goes beyond previous research by explicitly studying this preference mechanism. We disentangle the direct and indirect effects of income and risk (as well as other factors) to obtain estimates of their effects on voting through preferences.