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Political Partisanship Gap is Larger Than Ever

It’s not just your imagination or the wild claims of media: political
partisanship is indeed growing. Annual polling by the Pew Research Center
showed how partisan polarization rose sharply in the past several years:

As Americans head to the polls this November, their values and
basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point
in the past 25 years. Unlike in 1987, when this series of surveys began,
the values gap between Republicans and Democrats is now greater than
gender, age, race or class divides.

Overall, there has been much more stability than change across
the 48 political values measures that the Pew Research Center has tracked
since 1987. But the average partisan gap has nearly doubled over this
25-year period – from 10 percentage points in 1987 to 18 percentage
points in the new study.

Nearly all of the increases have occurred during the presidencies
of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. During this period, both parties’
bases have often been critical of their parties for not standing up
for their traditional positions.

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Date
July 5th, 2012

Author
Stranger to the World

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