June 12, 2014

Political Polarization in the American Public

Key Shareable Findings

Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan acrimony is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in recent history. And these trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and everyday life.

Growing Ideological Consistency

As ideological consistency has become more common it is also increasingly aligned with partisanship. 

Growing Partisan Antipathy

The level of antipathy that Republicans and Democrats feel toward the opposing party has surged over the past two decades. 

Political Polarization and Personal Life

Those on the opposite ends of the ideological spectrum disagree about everything from the type of community in which they prefer to live to the type of people they would welcome into their families.

Political Compromise and Divisive Policy Debates

The nation’s increasing ideological polarization makes political compromise more difficult, in part because those at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum see less benefit in meeting the other side halfway.

Political Engagement and Activism

Those who hold consistently liberal or conservative views, and who hold strongly negative views of the other political party, are far more likely to participate in the political process than the rest of the nation.