A fascinating new Pew report charting America's increasing partisan polarization came out Thursday, and it has inspired all the usual handwringing. We're more divided along political lines than ever, and here are the data to prove it.
The Pew report convincingly documents what most people already believe or suspect: Republicans and Democrats increasingly hold opposing views on just about every issue. They also can't stand each other: 43 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats have a "very unfavorable" view of the other party; both figures have more than doubled since 1994. This set of charts tells the story of the parties' increasingly stark separation:
It's easy to lament the division and strife that mark our politics. But what stand out to me are the exceptions—the issues where Republicans and Democrats are both largely on the same side: immigration, national security, and gay rights.
Republicans and Democrats are farther apart on these issues than they were 20 years ago, but majorities of them still fall on the same side. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats and 54 percent of Republicans do not believe immigrants are burdening the country by taking jobs, housing, and health care from Americans. (Strikingly, while both parties are pro-immigration today, both were overwhelmingly anti-immigration 20 years ago.) More than 80 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans do not believe military strength is the best way to ensure peace. And only 43 percent of Republicans still agree with 22 percent of Democrats that "homosexuality should be discouraged by society."