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Study: America’s Political Divide Widest Ever

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Study: America’s Political Divide Widest Ever

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This should come as no surprise, but Americans are more divided than ever. A new poll found that the differences between political views among Democrats and Republicans have hit a record high this year, topping levels seen during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The study, which Pew Research Center has conducted since 1994, revealed that differences between political parties in 2017 were three times greater than gaps between other categories such as race, ethnicity, religious attendance, age, education and gender.

Pew detailed the core political values that Democrats and Republicans are more divided over than ever.

Government aid: The number of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who say the government should do more to help the needy increased from 54 percent in 2011 to 71 percent in 2017. For Republicans, this issue dropped marginally from 25 percent in 2011 to 24 percent today. But the gap between the parties increased from 29 to 47 percentage points during that same time.

Racial discrimination: After Pew asked respondents whether “racial discrimination is the main reason why many black people can’t get ahead these days,” 64 percent of Democrats and 14 percent of Republicans answered yes—a 50 percentage point gap. This has widened from a 19-point gap in 2010, when 28 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of Republicans answered “yes” to the same question.

Immigration: The portion of Democrats who say immigrants strengthen the country “because of their hard work and talents” increased from 32 percent in 1994 to 84 percent today. For Republicans, 30 percent said this in 1994 and 42 percent say this today. The gap nearly doubled from 2012 to 2017.

As the polarized political landscape worsens, it is hard to see how the nation can move forward. In fact, the U.S. has shifted from mere partisan politics to hyper-partisan politics. For a deeper examination of the topic, read America’s Unbridgeable Political Divide. The article reveals exactly what is driving the nation’s crippling ideological divide.

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