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 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.
Reports that the Democratic Party may add support for gay marriage to its party platform are in keeping with a significant shift of opinion on this issue among Democrats nationwide. A new report finds that support for same-sex marriage among Democrats has jumped from 50% in 2008 to 65% today.
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.