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Polarization

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The Parties on the Eve of the 2016 Election: Two Coalitions, Moving Further Apart. While the country shifts to the right, California keeps moving left. SANTA ANA, Calif. — Manuel Guerrero is terrified by the impending presidency of Donald Trump and how it will affect Latinos like him.

While the country shifts to the right, California keeps moving left

But huddled over the trunk of a Toyota Camry as he put the final touches on a posterboard sign, he vowed that he and his fellow Californians would fight. “California is not gonna take this,” he said as he held the sign, which read “F--- Trump.” Then Guerrero, a 30-year-old artist, walked toward the sidewalk in front of a gas station parking lot, where he and a few dozen others protested, chanted, and waved Mexican flags amid a haze of exhaust and marijuana smoke. They crossed a six-lane highway as passersby honked their horns and pumped their fists out open windows. Republican and Democratic platforms show parties further apart than ever. As the Republican convention in Cleveland begins, the GOP and Democratic platforms for the 2016 presidential election are complete.

Republican and Democratic platforms show parties further apart than ever

They sit on either side of a vast ideological gulf. Campaign finance laws may be making political polarization worse by encouraging ‘purist’ donors. Many Americans have become increasingly concerned over the role of money in politics, and back more populist approaches to reducing political donations.

Campaign finance laws may be making political polarization worse by encouraging ‘purist’ donors.

Raymond J. La Raja and Brian F. Schaffner, authors of Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail, argue that populist approaches such as imposing low contribution limits on parties, distort the campaign finance system in ways that benefit a small group of partisan purists at the expense of the broader electorate.

This in turn pushes candidates towards ideological extremes. They write that reformers should consider a more party-centered campaign finance system which would channel money to candidates through highly transparent and broadly accountable party organizations, which would then lead to less polarization. Since the 2010 Citizens United decision, there has been increasing concern over the role of money in politics. Justice Scalia's legacy: blistering zingers and a more partisan America. When Antonin Scalia was nominated to the US supreme court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, the first Italian-American to serve on the Court was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.

Justice Scalia's legacy: blistering zingers and a more partisan America

It may well be a year – or several – before the Senate confirm anybody to replace Scalia, who died on Saturday at the age of 79. But that vote will almost assuredly not be unanimous, regardless of who the eventual nominee is: the politics of US supreme court appointments have become as polarized as the rest of American politics. And Scalia himself played a significant role in that very polarization. No, Americans have not become more ideologically polarized. (Shutterstock.com) The polarization of Democrats and Republicans in Congress is so well-known that it seems natural to conclude that the American public is polarizing, too.

No, Americans have not become more ideologically polarized

A recent Pew Research Center report generated headlines such as “Polarization is dividing American society, not just politics.” How House Republicans lurched to the right and left John Boehner behind. Kissing it all goodbye.

How House Republicans lurched to the right and left John Boehner behind

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) John Boehner was elected House majority leader in 2006 after 15 years in Congress. And if you had told someone, at that time, that Boehner would resign his seat in less than 10 years for being insufficiently conservative, you probably would have been laughed at. But Boehner's career provides an illustration of the stunning rightward shift among House Republicans in recent years. [Live coverage of Boehner's announcement] When John Boehner first went to Washington in 1991, the average ideology score of House Republicans hovered somewhere between 0.3 and 0.4. Can unlimited contributions to political parties really reduce polarization? The U.S.

Can unlimited contributions to political parties really reduce polarization?

Capitol Reflecting Pool. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) A core problem in American politics is ideological polarization, which makes compromise impossible, not only in Congress but also in the states. Unlimited party fundraising and spending gives you less polarized legislature... By Ray LaRaja and Brian Schaffner July 8 at 2:19 PM Lee Drutman’s recent Monkey Cage piece challenges a finding from our forthcoming book, Campaign Finance and Political Polarization:When Purists Prevail.

Unlimited party fundraising and spending gives you less polarized legislature...

That is, that states that allow parties to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money tend to have less polarized legislatures. This finding has important implications for how we regulate money in politics. Thus, it is not surprising that the finding is attracting challenges from reform circles. In this post, we will briefly identify problems with Drutman’s analysis. In his Monkey Cage post, Drutman writes, “Looked at another way, the same data suggest the very opposite result: that states that limit contributions to parties are actually less polarized than states without limits.”

The Political Typology: Beyond Red vs. Blue. Even in an increasingly Red vs.

The Political Typology: Beyond Red vs. Blue

Blue nation, the public’s political attitudes and values come in many shades and hues. Partisan polarization – the vast and growing gap between Republicans and Democrats – is a defining feature of politics today. But beyond the ideological wings, which make up a minority of the public, the political landscape includes a center that is large and diverse, unified by frustration with politics and little else. As a result, both parties face formidable challenges in reaching beyond their bases to appeal to the middle of the electorate and build sustainable coalitions.

The latest Pew Research Center political typology, which sorts voters into cohesive groups based on their attitudes and values, provides a field guide for this constantly changing landscape. Political Polarization in the American Public. How Increasing Ideological Uniformity and Partisan Antipathy Affect Politics, Compromise and Everyday Life Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades.

Political Polarization in the American Public

These trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life. And a new survey of 10,000 adults nationwide finds that these divisions are greatest among those who are the most engaged and active in the political process. Explore interactive version of this data The overall share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades from 10% to 21%.