Things fell apart; the middle could not hold…

To paraphrase Yeats.

As evidence I present Pew as related by ZeroHedge


America’s Record Political And Ideological Divide In Charts

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/12/2014 10:35 -0400

One hardly needs more charts to understand that over the past 6 years America has never become more ideologically and politically divided, but here, just to hammer that point, is the latest survey of 10,000 adults from Pew confirming just this.

In a nutshell, after some modest convergence to the center in the last decade of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, Americans have radically polarized their views and have grown further apart politically and culturally to never before seen degrees. The “median democrat” has become more ideologically consistent with other liberals, while the “median republican”, with other conservatives. Furthermore, both sides are more disapproving of those they disagree with.


The Collapse of the Middle


The meta trend is clear, though a review of the graphs of the underlying issue polls shows one side much more consistent across the measured period than the other.

EDIT: fixed broken link.

Mmmmm History: Hillary Extols Abe Lincoln's Senate Career (Hint He Was Never a Senator)
To Democrats, Republicans are 'Terrorists,' But the Taliban is Legit
  • Paul Hooson

    I’m equally wary of those more liberal or more conservative than me. – It’s hard to accept this premise above for the left. In 1972, George McGovern represented a very strong antiwar leftist faction in the Democratic Party that I did not like or trust. These McGovernites sure seemed a lot more radical than most Democrats are today. – I worked for President Nixon at the time and had a few interesting debates with these leftists of the time over responsible foreign policy and other issues.

    • Thank you for sharing.

      • Paul Hooson

        Part of the reason that George McGovern suffered the worst defeat of any Democratic candidate for president was that many of the more moderate Democrats who supported Hubert Humphrey, and the more conservative Democrats who supported Henry Jackson and George Wallace found George McGovern to be not only too far left in his policies, but also just a plain poor candidate, where as many as 10 million normally Democratic voters voted for President Nixon in 1972 who better represented their views than George McGovern, with Nixon’s more centrist-conservative ideology. – The mess left by George McGovern actually led to more centrist Democrats from the South and MidWest that included Bill Clinton to form the Democratic Leadership Council as an alternative to the leftist McGovern wing in the party. Centrist candidates like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton proved successful in winning three of four elections.

        • jim_m

          Carter won because of Nixon, end of story. There wasn’t a Republican anywhere in this nation that could have won in 1976.

          When Carter was demonstrated to be an ineffective buffoon, who thought that the era of US leadership should come to an end, Reagan was elected because he demonstrated that we could have a leader that actually believed in the US and that the people here are basically good people not the evil slobs that the left claims we are.

          Carter was elected not because he was a centrist but because he was not a republican.

          • Paul Hooson

            Jimmy Carter won the Democratic nomination over a number of more liberal democrats, and his victory over Gerald Ford was an interesting one because Gerald Ford ran a stronger campaign in many Northern states, while Carter’s victory was largely by winning many states in the South in addition to a few normally Democratic Northern states. Ford could have won in the electoral college if he could have reversed a few thousand votes in Ohio and Mississippi. Carter actually lost the swing states of Nevada and New Mexico, both of which generally support the winner in a presidential election. Carter won largely because the entire former confederate states supported him. – But, in 1980, despite leading in most polls by about 2-3 points over Reagan, Carter lost a surprise landslide loss, one of the few upsets in American elections not predicted by most polls, although exist polls on the day of the election reflected this huge surprise swing by voters.

          • What don’t you understand about “There wasn’t a Republican anywhere in this nation that could have won in 1976.”?

        • Thank you for sharing.

  • GarandFan

    Pelosi. Reid. Obama.

    • War, Pestilence, and Famine?

      • Retired military

        I was thinking Blinky, Senile and dumbo myself.

  • jim_m

    The left cannot tolerate a middle. If a middle continues to exist, it prevents them from casting the right as “other”.

  • fustian24

    It’s a lovely graph, but I’m not buying it. Looks like cooked data to me.

    • Click through to the article and the actual polling data from Pew and re-consider.

      • fustian24

        Well, as near as I can tell there are no links to click through with.


        It is difficult if not impossible to objectively decide what the difference is between various shades of conservative and liberal.

        This is like one of those surveys where they “objectively” decide what city is best. Well Denver’s ranking is sealed by how important mountain views are in your criterion. Just a few careful weights and you can completely change the ranking.

        How is this any different?

        My own experience tells me that there has been a steady drift to the left since I have been a young boy. Today’s Republicans were yesterdays Democrats.

        • The same questions were asked across all the surveys over the period of the graph. Party identification was self identification.

  • Hank_M

    The timeline presented seems to align with people starting to use the internet on a daily basis. WWW was around 1991 and the Mosaic browser was released around 1993 or so. People could finally find some unfiltered info besides that provided by the always biased MSM.

    The Polarization began a little earlier though, brought to us by the loathsome Ted Kennedy during the Bork nomination. Before that, most political battles were usually based on reality to varying degrees. Kennedy’s personal attacks on Bork broke all of the existing political traditions of comity and began the gutter politics that we see today, practiced almost exclusively by the left.