America's Record Political And Ideological Divide In Charts

Tyler Durden's picture

One hardly needs more charts to understand that over the past 6 years America has never become more ideologically and politically divided, but here, just to hammer that point, is the latest survey of 10,000 adults from Pew confirming just this.

In a nutshell, after some modest convergence to the center in the last decade of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, Americans have radically polarized their views and have grown further apart politically and culturally to never before seen degrees. The "median democrat" has become more ideologically consistent with other liberals, while the "median republican", with other conservatives. Furthermore, both sides are more disapproving of those they disagree with.

Finally those at the extremes are most vocal, as the dwindling center has grown frustrated by both wings. And not helping matters is a Congress, which courtesy of the Fed's monetary policy which is now extensively used in lieu of a functioning fiscal process ("Get to work Mr. Chairman"), means that dissatisfaction with the broken legislative branch has never been higher, even if the stock market is at all time highs.

An animation of America's record polarization

NEW: How political polarization in America is affecting politics, compromise & everyday life


And in charts:


Democrats and Republicans More Ideologically Divided than in the Past

Republicans Shift to the Right, Democrats to the Left

More Democrats Take Liberal Positions, More Republicans Take Conservative Positions

Growing Minority Holds Consistent Ideological Views

Polarization Surges Among the Politically Engaged

Growth in Ideological Polarization Sharper among Politically Engaged

Growing Gaps between Republicans and Democrats

Ideological Self-Placement Mostly Corresponds to Political Values, With Some Exceptions

Compromise in the Eye of the Beholder

Liberals, Conservatives Want Their Side to Get More of What It Wants

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nuclearsquid's picture

looks like a mound of shit.


AlaricBalth's picture

"Divide et impera. The reprobated axiom of tyranny..."  James Madison

Creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign.

SafelyGraze's picture

how can there be this much difference of opinion?

after all the work we did to establish public education

j dewey 

CH1's picture

how can there be this much difference of opinion?

Ask the same people, "Do you support democracy" and 99% will say "Yes."

Government conditioning centers for the win.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Yes, at the article's end Liberals only consist of 23 % of the population. How did we get Obummer again? No fraud here..... move along.

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

It's the 'white guilt' vote that made the fuckin diff!

XitSam's picture

Will it be 'gender guilt' or just fraud that elects Hillary?

lordylord's picture

The only number you need:  100,000,000 retards voted for Obummer or Romney in 2012.  God help us.

barre-de-rire's picture

you'd kill the 100.000.000 before hillary 2016

Pool Shark's picture



Think that's bad?

Leland Yee got 300,000 brain-dead Californians to vote for him:

Raymond K Hessel's picture

This article misses an important point that Nevada Democratics discovered in last night's primary for Governor.  The largest segment of votes have no party affiliation.  It's independents, then Democrats, then Republcans.  It seems many independents, not all, are disillusioned ex-Republicans that still vote conservative but want nothting to do with GOP leadershit.

dontgoforit's picture

I like strawberry and blueberry.

Four chan's picture

is clone of hitler up and running yet?

markovchainey's picture


Thank you for adding to my vocabulary, that's beautiful!

Stackers's picture

The only thing meeting in the middle of the road is good for is getting run over.

Pickleton's picture

Usually that's a fantasy anyway.  Typically all that means is, the right completely caves to the nutbag left.

Hugh_Jorgan's picture

Providing answer choices like "Giving Obama everything he wants" or "Giving the Republicans everything they want" tells me a lot about the clowns designing the polling. We are only given options that assume we keep on playing this game that is played with two sets of rules. It is time to think outside the box a bit.

It'd be nice if they asked more pertinent questions, something that might show a more detailed picture of America's actual mindset, and show the pollees things from a new perspective:

"True or False: Both parties are only concerned about growing government to serve their ends and the ends of those who keep them in office?"

"Do you think the Republicans actually serve the conservative platform that they espouse?"

"Do you think Democrats are more concerned with: A) Preserving the major civil liberties affecting life and property. OR  B) Petty issues affecting tiny minorities because it plays well in the media at this point in time?"

CH1's picture

Will it be 'gender guilt' or just fraud that elects Hillary?

Those plus 30 million Latins, whom the Reds insult and injure at every opportunity.

Blind fools.

markpower49's picture

Hopefully the ongoing depression gets rid of white guilt and we can get rid of the Africans in our midst.

AnAnonymous's picture

There is nothing like white guilt.

And 'americans' have programmed the riddance of Africans not only in their midst but everywhere a long time ago.

It takes time.

'Americans' already are nearing the point of getting rid of the Indians where they can do (that is where they are Indians)

One can trust 'americans' to deliver in certain departments. They perform as fast as possible (way faster than anyone else in history) but things take time.

Keep the faith. The 'american' faith.

de3de8's picture

I don't feel one little bit guilty

PresidentCamacho's picture

We got an obummer from the fact that the population has been so hammered with propaganda to have white guilt that all emotional thinkers voted for obama for the feels

drstrangelove73's picture

Label the left(appropriate!) peak"young fat,stupid,lazy ignoramuses,and the peak on the right "the wisdom of the ages", and you've got it.

I am more equal than others's picture



Looks like the groundwork for a civil war is being laid. 

PartysOver's picture

Yep, got your escape plan put together?   This just reflects what a lot of peeps feel but don't understand or accept.   May get real ugly or may get real lucky and avoid the castrophy on the horizon.

Bastiat's picture

Is that a disaster where you lose your nuts?

General Decline's picture

If you're living in N America and you're not preparing for civil war, you are an idiot.

ShorTed's picture

You took this right where it needed to go.  Excellent analysis.

y3maxx's picture

...Real Shift happening w/ MIC. USSA MIC moving away from foreign war zones to own USSA Homeland. ...To control broke, disillusioned & unhappy 350 million USSA Citizens...including 100 million American Gen Y & Millenials.

YES """Looks like the groundwork for a civil war is being laid."""

bigkahuna's picture

Dispatching with the useful idiots first. The statists know not what they ask for.

seek's picture

Very fitting, because this is a shit data set.

Republicans more conservative, really? They shifted further right over the past decades, so it's now overrun with small government, lower spending, lower-regulation pro-freedom types?

And democrats are more liberal -- so team blue is agressively backing civil rights, reigning in the police and prison complex, and regulating big business to protect the little guy?

Yeah, this is a complete fraud. Conservative my ass, liberal my all. They just redefined their metrics of measurement to be whatever the religious right is and whatever "liberal" ideals today are, and then backwards-filled the data set to show the previously determined conclusion.

Chief Wonder Bread's picture

I never respond to polls. The phone would be ringing off the hook if I did. Once they smell the blood in the water, they're all over you. The assholes actually leave prerecorded messages to respond to their worthless polls. Clearly, the people who answer these polls are self-selected, useful idiots who enjoy the masochistic exercise of responding to idiotic questions. Looking at the questions I can honestly say that I wouldn't even begin to know how to answer any of them seriously.

I don't like to be categorized and analyzed and all my preferences known. I figure it's an advantage to keep what I believe to myself and an object of obscurity to the pollsters and marketers (i.e., rascals and thieves.)

doctor10's picture

if the division is for real-its certainly isn't a "Republican" or Democrat" division. That's a fabircation.


Its basically between the producers and the regulators/beneficiiaries (theives and their stooges?)

drendebe10's picture

Geee.... I wonder what happened after 2008???   Ya don't think it has any thing to do with the racially/politically/religous/economically divisive arrogant narcissistic illegal indonesian kenyan alien muslim sociopathic liar in chief?  Nah.... no way....

Cocomaan's picture

I question their definitions of liberal and conservative.

greatbeard's picture

>> definitions of liberal and conservative

Exactly.  Although I find many willing to place the blame for every evil and every fuck up on liberals, I've yet to find anyone who can say what a liberal is.  I'm sure I'm placed firmly in the liberal camp although nobody has a clue what my positions are in reguards to issues.  But since I'm less than entralled with Republicans I must be a liberal.  There are quite a few issues I agree with what my perception of conservative views of the subject are, and there are quite a few that I disagree with.


SafelyGraze's picture

one thing that both "ideologies" can agree on:

we need more debt and more global intervention and more surveillance

and preserve the insulated autonomy of the central bank

and preserve the ability of lawmakers to front-run equities

these are platforms that make the country great

shovelhead's picture

Hey, I'd vote for that.

And a free nailgun for every home.

NoDebt's picture

If you believe in adherence to Constitutional principles, hold your personal freedoms in high regard (understanding they come with matching responsibilities) and think government is best that governs least, you pass the sniff test.

If not, you're a dirty stinking liberal.

Just kidding.  You'd actually be a statist.  I don't know what a liberal is, but I know what statism, corruption, cronyism and central planning are.


Dingleberry's picture

A liberal is a dreamer.

You are confused, which is typical for a liberal.

KCMLO's picture

I was pondering this just the other day myself.  It is interesting that the label Liberal has become so corrupted.  Our country was founded on the principles of "liberalism" but only in the context of that timeframe.  The definition then being that governing power is not derived from divine right and therefore must be exercised from the will of the governed.  The ideal that man, as a sentient being, deserves the dignity of a free existence to pursue their goals as they see fit so long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of others.

The Constitution, for it's time frame, was a document derived from "liberal" ideals (also of that time frame).

Now the term has been corrupted to mean that man, as a sentient being, DESERVES the indignity of a subsidised existence if they lag "behind" and that it is the imposed and government enforced duty of those deemed more fortunate to provide that subsidy.  Also, the people as wards of a government that THEY elect should be subject to increased governmental control by virture of electing said government (ie the people elected representatives that espouse the idea of increasing government intervention therefore the will of the people is that they are increasingly imposed by their own government, even more simply put, you're asking for us to make decisions for you so we're doing it).

Sadly, the 2nd pillar of modern liberalism holds true.  Voters ARE asking for someone to make more choices and absorb more responsibility for them.  They might hee and haw when they occasionally come face to face with the results of an increasingly heavy handed government, but they continue to identify with a party (which at times can be either party) that oppresses them.

Ergo, the American ideal of liberalism (which initially sounded a hell of a lot like "libertarianism") has become so pervasive as to absolve most US voters to firmly believe that many functions of government and normal life fall firmly outside of their control.  This manifests itself (across the political spectrum even) with voters thinking the government is a distinctly separate entity instead of merely an extension of themselves.  The relationship becomes more of parent/child and eventually degrades into master/slave.  Not exactly a great outlook we have here when most of the country seems to think they are powerless to live their lives mostly as they see fit (by either voting for change, establishing networks within their community, or just simply ignoring laws that they find assinine).  In other words Americans... grow some fucking balls, why do you think someone else is responsible to give you what you want?

MachoMan's picture

In the modern era, conservative and liberal are merely the poles of a spectrum, on which your point is determined by how you answer the following question: should there be more or less government?  In the event you answer the former, then you're a liberal; in the event you answer the latter, then you're a conservative...  albeit of varying degrees (anarchists being the furthest conservative).

As used in the common vernacular (especially MSM), liberals and conservatives are defined by ancillary and irrelevant issues, e.g. abortion.  In short, the only matters discussed are "social" issues, rather than "monetary/fiscal" issues.  Given that the social function of a government is always dictated by the amount of funds at its disposal, we're ignoring the real differentiating factors between conservative and liberal ideologies (economic policy).  This is how republicans and democracts can both be liberal, but still claim to be different from one another.

If you control the meaning of the language...

malek's picture

 I've yet to find anyone who can say what a liberal is

That's easy:
Nowadays and for at least the last 2 decades, a liberal is someone who wants to be free from the consequences of his/her decisions and actions.

yrbmegr's picture

Note also the normalization of each group to the population of the group, not to the total population.

CH1's picture

THAT is an interesting point.

yrbmegr's picture

All part of the show.

nuclearsquid's picture

yawn.  polarization because everyone gets their news from small, online, niche echo rooms.