On the show today we talked about a new poll that shows Americans are at odds with each other politically like never before. In the 25 years Pew Research has conducted the survey, which asks voters 48 values questions, the gap between Democrats and Republicans has never been wider. In fact, the poll shows it’s been steadily increasing since 1997, when the average percentage-point difference between members of each party was 9%. Currently, that gap stands at 18 points.
We didn’t have time to break out the numbers during the show, but the individual results are stunning. When it comes to feelings about a social safety net, the gulf between the two parties is 41 percentage points. There are also wide gaps on the environment, labor unions, the scope and performance of government, and immigration.
For those who hope the gridlock in Washington is merely a product of an election cycle, this poll isn’t a promising sign.