File Name: american government and politics today 2014.zip
Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines — and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive — than at any point in the last two decades.
These trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life. And a new survey of 10, adults nationwide finds that these divisions are greatest among those who are the most engaged and active in the political process. And ideological thinking is now much more closely aligned with partisanship than in the past.
Partisan animosity has increased substantially over the same period. In each party, the share with a highly negative view of the opposing party has more than doubled since People with down-the-line ideological positions — especially conservatives — are more likely than others to say that most of their close friends share their political views.
Liberals and conservatives disagree over where they want to live, the kind of people they want to live around and even whom they would welcome into their families. And at a time of increasing gridlock on Capitol Hill, many on both the left and the right think the outcome of political negotiations between Obama and Republican leaders should be that their side gets more of what it wants.
These sentiments are not shared by all — or even most — Americans. The majority do not have uniformly conservative or liberal views. Most do not see either party as a threat to the nation. And more believe their representatives in government should meet halfway to resolve contentious disputes rather than hold out for more of what they want.
Yet many of those in the center remain on the edges of the political playing field, relatively distant and disengaged, while the most ideologically oriented and politically rancorous Americans make their voices heard through greater participation in every stage of the political process. Many of those in the center remain on the edges of the political playing field … while the most ideologically oriented and politically rancorous Americans make their voices heard.
The rise of ideological uniformity has been much more pronounced among those who are the most politically active. On measure after measure — whether primary voting, writing letters to officials, volunteering for or donating to a campaign — the most politically polarized are more actively involved in politics, amplifying the voices that are the least willing to see the parties meet each other halfway.
These are among the findings of the largest study of U. Data are drawn from a national telephone survey of 10, adults, conducted from January through March of this year, and an ongoing series of follow-up surveys. This rich dataset, coupled with trends and insights from two decades of Pew Research Center polling, reveals a complex picture of partisan polarization and how it manifests itself in political behaviors, policy debates, election dynamics and everyday life.
To chart the progression of ideological thinking, responses to 10 political values questions asked on multiple Pew Research surveys since have been combined to create a measure of ideological consistency. And this shift represents both Democrats moving to the left and Republicans moving to the right, with less and less overlap between the parties. Beyond the rise in ideological consistency, another major element in polarization has been the growing contempt that many Republicans and Democrats have for the opposing party.
To be sure, disliking the other party is nothing new in politics. But today, these sentiments are broader and deeper than in the recent past. Even these numbers tell only part of the story. Liberals and conservatives share a passion for politics.
They are far more likely than those with more mixed ideological views to discuss politics on a weekly or daily basis. But for many, particularly on the right, those conversations may not include much in the way of opposing opinions. People on the right and left are more likely to say it is important to them to live in a place where most people share their political views. To be sure, there are areas of consensus. Most Americans, regardless of their ideological preferences, value communities in which they would live close to extended family and high-quality schools.
And the differences between right and left go beyond disagreements over politics, friends and neighbors. When they look at a political system in which little seems to get done, most Americans in the center of the electorate think that Obama and Republican leaders should simply meet each other halfway in addressing the issues facing the nation. Consistent liberals and conservatives define ideal political compromise as one in which their side gets more of what it wants.
Yet an equitable deal is in the eye of the beholder, as both liberals and conservatives define the optimal political outcome as one in which their side gets more of what it wants. The signs of political polarization are evident on both ends of the political spectrum, though the trajectory, nature and extent differ from left to right. With Barack Obama in the White House, partisan antipathy is more pronounced among Republicans, especially consistently conservative Republicans. Conservatives also exhibit more partisan behavior in their personal lives; they are the most likely to have friends and prefer communities of like-minded people.
However, there is as much ideological uniformity on the left as the right. Social issues like homosexuality and immigration that once drove deep divides within the Democratic Party are now areas of relative consensus. And Democrats have become more uniformly critical of business and more supportive of government. Changes in ideological consistency on the right have followed a different course.
This increase has come despite more moderate views among Republicans on issues like homosexuality and immigration, as GOP thinking on issues related to government and the economy has veered sharply to the right. This is the first report of a multi-part series based on a national survey of 10, adults nationwide, conducted January March 16, by the Pew Research Center.
MacArthur Foundation and supported by the generosity of Don C. The typology — the sixth such study since — looks beyond Red vs. Later, the project will explore the various factors that contribute to political polarization, or stem from it. Other reports will look at how political polarization relates to where people live, to their political environments, to how they view themselves and others around them, to their socioeconomic circumstances, to generational changes and to broader sociological and psychological personality traits.
The current report is divided into five parts: The first two focus on measuring the nature and scope of political polarization, emphasizing the difference between growing ideological consistency and rising partisan antipathy. The fourth looks at the relationship between polarization and practical policymaking , and the fifth digs deeper into how political participation both amplifies and reflects polarization. The data in this report are based on two independent survey administrations with the same randomly selected, nationally representative group of respondents.
The second involved impaneling a subset of these respondents into the newly created American Trends Panel and following up with them via a survey conducted by web and telephone. The two surveys are described separately, in further detail, in the About the Surveys section of the report.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Home U. Main More. Many of those in the center remain on the edges of the political playing field … while the most ideologically oriented and politically rancorous Americans make their voices heard The rise of ideological uniformity has been much more pronounced among those who are the most politically active.
What Polarization Looks Like To chart the progression of ideological thinking, responses to 10 political values questions asked on multiple Pew Research surveys since have been combined to create a measure of ideological consistency. More Negative Views of the Opposing Party Beyond the rise in ideological consistency, another major element in polarization has been the growing contempt that many Republicans and Democrats have for the opposing party.
Politics Gets Personal Liberals and conservatives share a passion for politics. Polarization in Red and Blue The signs of political polarization are evident on both ends of the political spectrum, though the trajectory, nature and extent differ from left to right. About the Study This is the first report of a multi-part series based on a national survey of 10, adults nationwide, conducted January March 16, by the Pew Research Center.
About the Data The data in this report are based on two independent survey administrations with the same randomly selected, nationally representative group of respondents.
Topics U. Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: Popular on pew research. Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins. Quiz: Are you a Core Conservative? A Solid Liberal? Or somewhere in between? Research Areas. Follow Us. We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.
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Schmidt, S. American government and politics today. Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning. Schmidt, Steffen W, Mack C. Shelley and Barbara A.
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Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Choose your answer to the question and click 'Continue' to see how you did. American attention was focused on the issue after the mysterious explosion that sank the American battleship Maine on February 15, in Havana Harbor. In an attempt to stop the disenfranchisement of Black voters, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act , which prohibited states from denying voting rights based on race, and the Supreme Court determined grandfather clauses and other restrictions were unconstitutional. The government and its bureaucracy were closely involved in creating concessions for and providing land to the western railways stretching across the plains and beyond the Rocky Mountains.
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