While somewhat more say the Republican Party than the Democratic Party has strong principles, the GOP is viewed as too extreme and out of touch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.