The Pew Research Center recently released its 2012 “Trends in American Values” study, finding that our polarization along partisan lines is wider today than any time since they began the survey 25 years ago. Interestingly, this values gap—which Pew reports developed during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama—is based more on party affiliation than other factors including gender, age, race, religiosity, or income.
As we enter the final weeks of a particularly contentious presidential campaign, America’s political divide is playing out on talk radio, social media, cable news and the mainstream press. It couldn’t be clearer. We are engaging in the War on Women versus We Built That.
“Republicans are most distinguished by their increasingly minimalist views about the role of government and lack of support for environmentalism,” Pew says. “Democrats have become more socially liberal and secular. Republicans and Democrats are most similar in their level of political engagement.”
Key findings in the report are detailed in the following slide show: