We tend to think of the political divisions in America rather starkly and traditionally. There are red, blue, and purple states (often displayed on a high-tech cable news map), and Republican, Democratic, and Independent voters. But as the American electorate grows more polarized and the ideological center more heterodox, the Pew Research Center says it's past time for a new classification system. In a study released today, the think tank has sorted Americans into nine political typologies for the modern age, noting their values, demographics, and lifestyles (you can find out which group you belong to here).
Pew says the biggest shift its noticed in the political landscape is that the "long-standing divide between economic, pro-business conservatives and social conservatives has blurred," and a new breed of through-and-through, Tea Party-supporting conservatives--the Staunch Conservatives--has emerged to join the less ideologically rigid Main Street Republicans. On the left, Pew says, the Staunch Conservatives have a polar opposite in the Solid Liberals. But this side of the political spectrum also features two religious, financially troubled, and socially conservative groups: the optimistic, ethnically diverse New Coalition Democrats and the cynical, blue-collar Hard-Pressed Democrats.