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.
This is one of the chief findings from a new research project by Pew on partisanship in the last two terms. To summarize what we all already know, partisanship is getting worse under our two most recent Presidents. Does that mean we are becoming a more partisan country? No. The opposite. Actually fewer of us belong to parties than ever. However, for those still remaining in the parties, they are becoming more homogenous and ideological than ever. And this is the clear problem in America (and more specifically Washington) today. Pew later finds:
In recent years, both parties have become smaller and more ideologically homogeneous. Republicans are dominated by self-described conservatives, while a smaller but growing number of Democrats call themselves liberals. Among Republicans, conservatives continue to outnumber moderates by about two-to-one. And there are now as many liberal Democrats as moderate Democrats.
You can read the entire Pew findings here: