The degree of partisanship in the country is increasing. That’s what Pew Research has found:
Over the past six years, the share of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents saying the government should do more to help the needy, even if it means going deeper into debt, has risen 17 percentage points (from 54% to 71%), while the views of Republicans and Republican leaners have barely changed (25% then, 24% today). However, Republicans’ opinions on this issue had shifted substantially between 2007 and 2011, with the share favoring more aid to the needy falling 20 points (from 45% to 25%).
The result: While there has been a consistent party gap since 1994 on government aid to the poor, the divisions have never been this large. In 2011, about twice as many Democrats as Republicans said the government should do more for the needy (54% vs. 25%). Today, nearly three times as many Democrats as Republicans say this (71% vs. 24%).
Basically, Republicans are becoming more Republican and Democrats more Democratic. The parties continue to change from the “catch all” parties they’ve always been to programmatic parties.
In terms of affiliation the two political parties are just about the same with 29% Republicans and 30% Democrats. 40% of Americans consider themselves neither Republicans nor Democrats.
I don’t believe this divergence can continue indefinitely. Either one party, the other, or both must stop their move away from the other party, there needs to be a new assertion of federalism, or fracture or violence are inevitable.