Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
Americans values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Party has now become the single largest fissure in American society, with the values gap between Republicans and Democrats greater than gender, age, race or class divides.
More Now See GOP as Very Conservative
An increasing number of voters see the Republican Party as very conservative, while slightly fewer see the Democratic Party as very liberal compared to 2010.
GOP Makes Big Gains Among White Voters
As the country enters into the 2012 presidential election cycle, the electorate’s partisan affiliations have shifted significantly since Obama won office nearly three years ago. Notably, the GOP gains have occurred only among white voters.
U.S. Seen as Among the Greatest Nations, But Not Superior to All Others
Despite the struggling economy and broad dissatisfaction with national conditions, the public has a positive view of the United States’ global standing. But more think that the U.S. is one of the greatest countries in the world than say it stands above all other countries.
Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology
Political attitudes have become more doctrinaire at both ends of the ideological spectrum. Yet at the same time, the growing center of the political spectrum is increasingly diverse. As an in-depth guide to the political landscape, the 2011 Political Typology sorts Americans into cohesive groups based on their values, political beliefs and party affiliation.
Independents Oppose Party in Power … Again
For the third national election in a row, independent voters may be poised to vote out the party in power. Political independents now favor GOP candidates by about as large a margin as they backed Barack Obama in 2008. The “independent vote,” however, is in no way monolithic; this is not surprising given that most independents are recent refugees from the two major parties.
What Kind of Candidates are Voters Looking for in November?
Americans are less likely to vote for a candidate who supported TARP, more likely to back one who compromises, and split on health care supporters. Neither party has an advantage on the economy, but the GOP has improved on several issues. Sharp rise in BP criticism over the oil spill.
Independents Take Center Stage in the Obama Era
Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama administration begins. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed in its beliefs about government, the free market and other values that underlie views on contemporary issues and policies. Both political parties have lost adherents since the election and an increasing number of Americans identify as independents.
Broad Support for Political Compromise in Washington
A large majority of the American public thinks the country is more politically polarized than in the past, and an even greater number expresses a strong desire for political compromise. Fully three-quarters say they like political leaders who are willing to compromise, compared with 21% who see this as a negative trait.