- Jul 28, 2000
- Eugene, OR
- Basic Beliefs
Pew Research has come out with another political-typology article: The Political Typology: In polarized era, deep divisions persist within coalitions of both Democrats and Republicans | Pew Research Center
The Democrats have a split in them:
In their most recent work, they identified 9 groups. In order of Republican to Democratic: Faith and Flag Conservatives, Committed Conservatives, Populist Right, Ambivalent Right, Stressed Sideliners, Outsider Left, Democratic Mainstays, Establishment Liberals, Progressive LeftPartisan polarization remains the dominant, seemingly unalterable condition of American politics. Republicans and Democrats agree on very little – and when they do, it often is in the shared belief that they have little in common.
Yet the gulf that separates Republicans and Democrats sometimes obscures the divisions and diversity of views that exist within both partisan coalitions – and the fact that many Americans do not fit easily into either one.
Republicans are divided on some principles long associated with the GOP: an affinity for businesses and corporations, support for low taxes and opposition to abortion. Democrats face substantial internal differences as well – some that are long-standing, such as on the importance of religion in society, others more recent. For example, while Democrats widely share the goal of combating racial inequality in the United States, they differ on whether systemic change is required to achieve that goal.
These intraparty disagreements present multiple challenges for both parties: They complicate the already difficult task of governing in a divided nation. In addition, to succeed politically, the parties must maintain the loyalty of highly politically engaged, more ideological voters, while also attracting support among less engaged voters – many of them younger – with weaker partisan ties.
The Democrats have a split in them:
The Republicans also have a split in them:They include two very different groups of liberal Democrats: Progressive Left and Establishment Liberals. Progressive Left, the only majority White, non-Hispanic group of Democrats, have very liberal views on virtually every issue and support far-reaching changes to address racial injustice and expand the social safety net. Establishment Liberals, while just as liberal in many ways as Progressive Left, are far less persuaded of the need for sweeping change.
Two other Democratic-aligned groups could not be more different from each other, both demographically and in their relationship to the party. Democratic Mainstays, the largest Democratic-oriented group, as well as the oldest on average, are unshakeable Democratic loyalists and have a moderate tilt on some issues. Outsider Left, the youngest typology group, voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden a year ago and are very liberal in most of their views, but they are deeply frustrated with the political system – including the Democratic Party and its leaders.
In between:The four Republican-oriented groups include three groups of conservatives: Faith and Flag Conservatives are intensely conservative in all realms; they are far more likely than all other typology groups to say government policies should support religious values and that compromise in politics is just “selling out on what you believe in.” Committed Conservatives also express conservative views across the board, but with a somewhat softer edge, particularly on issues of immigration and America’s place in the world. Populist Right, who have less formal education than most other typology groups and are among the most likely to live in rural areas, are highly critical of both immigrants and major U.S. corporations.
Ambivalent Right, the youngest and least conservative GOP-aligned group, hold conservative views about the size of government, the economic system and issues of race and gender. But they are the only group on the political right in which majorities favor legal abortion and say marijuana should be legal for recreational and medical use. They are also distinct in their views about Donald Trump – while a majority voted for him in 2020, most say they would prefer he not continue to be a major political figure.
The only typology group without a clear partisan orientation – Stressed Sideliners – also is the group with the lowest level of political engagement. Stressed Sideliners, who make up 15% of the public but constituted just 10% of voters in 2020, have a mix of conservative and liberal views but are largely defined by their minimal interest in politics.