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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/12/2014 (1 month ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Gap is widening between liberals and conservatives

Americans are a very determined lot, according to a new Pew research Poll. That can be a good thing - or a very bad thing. While many hold their personal political beliefs very strongly, they see little or no wiggle room for those who share different views. This has resulted in a nation that is more polarized as ever. According to the poll, this may very well lead to a nation divided.

More Americans are less likely to favor political compromise, the survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press said.

More Americans are less likely to favor political compromise, the survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press said.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/12/2014 (1 month ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Republicans, Democras, conservatives, liberals, polarization


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pew Research Center conducted a year-long study on polarization. Polling more than 10,000 adults between January and March of this year, researchers found that Republicans and Democrats are "further apart ideologically than at any point in recent history."

Starvation never takes a vacation --


The seven most salient points of the survey were these:

1. "The share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades, from 10 percent to 21 percent," i.e., less political overlap between the two parties.

2. "Partisan antipathy has risen." In other words, Republicans with unfavorable opinions of Democrats has jumped from 17 to 43 percent, while Democrats with highly negative opinions of Republicans has more than doubled from 16 to 38 percent.

3. "'Ideological silos' are now common on the right, and to a lesser extent, the left."

The most discouraging sign that there is now no political fraternization. Birds of a feather, flock together, preventing the healthy "marketplace of ideas" our friend John Stuart Mill pushed for.

4. "Differences between the right and left go beyond politics." This means that personal choices as well as political one exist between Democrats and Republicans. For example, conservatives want to live in large, far apart houses, while most liberals prefer smaller houses that are close to schools, stores, and restaurants.

5. "The center has gotten smaller." Thirty-nine percent of Americans take a roughly equal number of liberal and conservative positions on issues like gun control, immigration reform, and health care policy.

6. "The most ideologically-oriented Americans make their voices heard through greater participation in every stage of the political process."

The squeaky wheel gets the grease: political donation rates are about double the national average among ideologically liberals at 31 percent and conservatives at 26 percent.

7. "To those on the ideological right and left, compromise now means that their side gets more of what it wants."

About 62 percent of liberals say the best deal between President Barack Obama and the GOP would be closer to what Obama wants, while 57 percent of consistent conservatives say a deal should be closer to the GOP's terms.

Bottom line: More Americans are less likely to favor political compromise, the survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press said.

"Liberals and conservatives disagree over where they want to live, the kind of people they want to live around and even whom they would welcome into their families," the poll said.

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