Thursday, May 05, 2011

Poll shows a nation deeply divided and more doctrinaire

Michael Dimock, a Pew Research Center associate director, provided examples of the growing gulf between liberals and conservatives. One example concerned the question of whether government should do more to help the needy, even if that means bigger deficits, or whether government cannot afford to provide that assistance. The survey found a 65-point gap between liberals and conservatives. Six years ago, the gap was 52 points.

When the Pew center last undertook a mapping of the electorate, foreign policy represented the major split between Republicans and Democrats. Today, the most significant divisions that shape the electorate are the size and scope of government and President Obama himself.