There is a sense that American politics are becoming more partisan than in recent memory. Frustrations with the federal government’s inability to solve issues facing the nation, heated debates and elections have magnified the attention on the two-party system. The two parties obviously hold different views on many political issues, and because of that there will always be a partisan divide. The question is whether or not that divide is growing wider, thus further dividing Americans and their elected representatives to the point of gridlock and heated tensions. In an attempt to identify growing partisanship, 40 years of feeling thermometer data may help shed light on polarization. If America is in fact growing more divided, we must ask the question who or what is causing this and where are we seeing the impacts? Using this data, I will argue that America is becoming more partisan, especially in terms of presidential evaluations, and that this is a result of the Republican Party and it’s identifying members drive to become even more conservative.
Emerging Trends in American Politics: The Feeling Thermometer and Partisan America.
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