America's Record Political And Ideological Divide In Charts

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