America growing more politically polarized, survey finds


McClatchy Washington Bureau

The nation is politically polarized like it’s rarely been before, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released Thursday.

“Republicans and Democrats in the public are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan animosity is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in recent history,” the survey found.

The percentage of people who say they have consistently conservative or liberal views has doubled in the past 10 years, Pew found, from 10 percent to 21 percent.

And more people are less tolerant of those with opposing views.

“The share in each party expressing a ‘very unfavorable’ view of the other side has more than doubled,” Pew said. “Moreover, most of these intense partisans believe the opposing party’s policies ‘are so misguided that they threaten the nation’s well-being.’”

The good news: Most people do not see either party as a threat, and have a combination of ideologies.

But the ideological folks are more vocal, Pew pointed out and are “less likely to favor 50-50 compromises between political leaders in Washington. And for many, the political and the personal are intertwined: Across-the-board liberals and conservatives express different views over where they want to live, the kind of people they want to live around and even whom they would welcome into their families.”

Link to the Pew survey

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