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.
GOP’s Favorability Rating Edges Lower
The Republican Party’s image, already quite negative, has slipped since last fall. Currently 33% of the public has a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 62% have an unfavorable view.
GOP’s Favorability Rating Takes a Negative Turn
Survey Report The Republican Party’s image has grown more negative over the first half of this year. Currently, 32% have a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 60% have an unfavorable view. Favorable views of the GOP have fallen nine percentage points since January. The Democratic Party continues to have mixed ratings (48% favorable, […]
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.
Democrats Have More Positive Image, But GOP Runs Even or Ahead on Key Issues
Survey Report This week’s political battles over immigration, funding for the Department of Homeland Security and the Keystone XL pipeline have been waged by opposing parties that possess starkly different strengths and weaknesses. Majorities say the Democratic Party is open and tolerant, cares about the middle class and is not “too extreme.” By contrast, most […]
Obama Job Rating Ticks Higher, Views of Nation’s Economy Turn More Positive
President Obama enters the seventh year of his presidency in a familiar position when compared with his recent predecessors. His 47% job approval rating places him squarely between George W. Bush (33%) and Bill Clinton (63%) at similar points in their second terms. Obama’s rating is comparable to Ronald Reagan’s in January 1987 (49%), when […]
Few See Quick Cure for Nation’s Political Divisions
Survey Report As 2014 draws to a close, the public is deeply pessimistic about the prospects for healing the nation’s deep political divisions. And most Americans think continued partisan gridlock would wreak significant damage on the country. To start, perceptions of the current level of political division continue at record levels: 81% say the country […]
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 […]
Neither Party Gets Good Marks from Its Base for Handling Illegal Immigration
Survey Report As the current session of Congress comes to a close without significant action to address illegal immigration, neither Republicans nor Democrats are especially happy with the way their respective parties have dealt with the issue. Just 37% of Republicans and Republican leaners think the GOP is doing a good job representing their views […]
Wide Partisan Differences Over the Issues That Matter in 2014
Republican and Democratic voters are split not only over their candidate preferences, but also about the importance of key issues in the election.