Appendix A: Measures and scales
Thermometer ratings The survey measured ratings toward a number of groups and people in the U.S. on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from zero (“as cold and negative as possible”) to 100 (“as warm and positive as possible”), with 50 as the neutral point. See topline for full question wording. Throughout this report, ratings on the […]
Survey conducted March 2-28, 2016 and April 5-May 2, 2016 The American Trends Panel (ATP), created by the Pew Research Center, is a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults living in households. Respondents who self-identify as internet users and who provided an email address participate in the panel via monthly self-administered Web surveys, […]
7. Partisan views of 2016 candidates, Barack and Michelle Obama, views of the election
Republicans and Democrats feel much more negatively toward the other’s party’s presumptive presidential nominees than they do toward members of the opposing party. (The surveys were conducted from early March through early May, before Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump effectively secured their party’s nominations.) Republicans’ views of Clinton – and Democrats’ views of Trump – […]
6. How do the political parties make you feel?
Republicans and Democrats have strong negative reactions to the opposing party. Feelings of frustration are most common – 58% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans feel frustrated by the other party. But large shares also react with fear and anger toward the other party. A majority of Democrats (55%) say the GOP makes them feel […]
5. Views of parties’ positions on issues, ideologies
Republicans and Democrats see little common ground between the two parties when it comes to issues, ideas and ideology. Majorities of partisans say the policy positions of the Republican and Democratic parties are very different, and neither Republicans nor Democrats say the other party has many good ideas. In general terms, both Republicans and Democrats […]
4. Partisan stereotypes, views of Republicans and Democrats as neighbors
Many Republicans and Democrats associate negative characteristics with members of the other party – and positive traits with their own. But the specific criticisms Democrats and Republicans have of each other vary. And on several of these traits, a majority of partisans say Republicans and Democrats aren’t much different from the public as a whole. […]
3. Partisan environments, views of political conversations and disagreements
For the most part, people have politically mixed friend groups, although both Republicans and Democrats are more likely to say they have a lot of friends from their own party than from the opposing party. The partisan diversity of people’s friend networks is linked to how people feel about the members of the other party, […]
2. The roots of partisanship
Why do people choose to identify as a Republican or a Democrat? For Republicans, about as many (68%) cite as a major reason the harm that Democratic policies inflict on the country as cite the beneficial impact of GOP policies (64%). The balance of views among Democrats is only slightly more positive: 68% say a […]
1. Feelings about partisans and the parties
Partisans’ dislike of the opposing party is part and parcel of American politics, but recent years have witnessed a growing intensity in these feelings. For the first time in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, majorities of partisans have not only an unfavorable view of the other party, but a very unfavorable […]
Partisanship and Political Animosity in 2016
The 2016 campaign is unfolding against a backdrop of intense partisan division and animosity. Partisans’ views of the opposing party are now more negative than at any point in nearly a quarter of a century.
A Different Look at Generations and Partisanship
Survey Report Over the past decade, there has been a pronounced age gap in American politics. Younger Americans have been the Democratic Party’s strongest supporters in both vote preferences and partisanship, while older Americans have been the most reliably Republican. The Pew Research Center’s report earlier this month on partisan identification found that 51% of […]
A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation
39% of Americans identify as independents, more than they do as Democrats ( 32%) or as Republicans (23%). This is the highest percentage of independents in more than 75 years of public opinion polling.
Political Polarization in Action: Insights into the 2014 Election from the American Trends Panel
Survey Report The Pew Research Center has developed a new tool for looking at the 2014 elections – a panel survey that enables us to check in with the same representative group of Americans several times during the course of the campaign. This survey includes far more information about respondents than is found in a […]
Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology
Our latest political typology sorts voters into cohesive groups based on their attitudes and values and provides a field guide for the constantly changing political landscape.
Political Polarization in the American Public
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 in everyday life.
State Governments Viewed Favorably as Federal Rating Hits New Low
Even as public views of the federal government in Washington have fallen to another new low, the public continues to see their state and local governments in a favorable light. Overall, 63% say they have a favorable opinion of their local government, virtually unchanged over recent years. And 57% express a favorable view of […]
GOP Seen as Principled, But Out of Touch and Too Extreme
At a time when the Republican Party’s image is at a historic low, 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme. Opinions about the Democratic Party are mixed, but the party […]
Examining the Last Four Years
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A Closer Look at the Parties in 2012
As the 2012 party conventions approach, the Democratic Party continues to maintain an advantage in party identification among voters, but its lead is much smaller than it was in 2008. In more than 13,000 interviews conducted so far in 2012, 35% of registered voters identify with the Democratic Party, 28% with the Republican Party and […]
Party Affiliation and Election Polls
In every campaign cycle, pollwatchers pay close attention to the details of every election survey. And well they should. But focusing on the partisan balance of surveys is, in almost every circumstance, the wrong place to look. The latest Pew Research Center survey conducted July 16-26 among 1,956 registered voters nationwide found 51% supporting Barack […]