Friday, February 6, 2015

America's growing polarization, in one chart

America's growing polarization is old news. But a new chart from Gallup suggests it goes beyond President Obama and recent incarnations of Congress.

The country, Gallup numbers show, has been steadily growing more divided for a couple of decades now. Check out this chart. In the 40 years from President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 to the first President George Bush in 1993, the gap between how Republicans and Democrats felt about the president stayed in a pretty narrow band (with a tick up for Ronald Reagan).

Since then? The gap grows, with a big jump under Bill Clinton, more polarization with George W. Bush and now the most on record under Obama. How long can this trend last? Til it hits 100?


Larry said...

I did something the observer should try, I took the national expenditures during this time and charted them.

Seems democrats have a reason to show such great support for a democratic president.

During any democratic president free stuff comes so easy and the debt increases, mainly long after they are out of office.

Something to consider observer.

elite games said...

obama is the great divider..the libs should be proud of this legacy

Tvan said...

This has to be one of the lightest pieces from the O's editorial board in quite sometime. For starters, they could have thrown in some basic stats, like the media's evolution over time and their influence, the influence of the young vote (Clinton and Obama) and the like. Honestly, I think the numbers have been the same REGARDLESS of who's in office. But thanks to how the media is no longer just 3 basic networks propped up by local and national print sources, there are more sources of "decision" guiders out there to influence people.

LR said...

Larry, of course expenditures rise over time--- this is the result of inflation and population growth, among other factors. (Wars, for example, have a huge fiscal impact.) Unless you're taking these things into account, your analysis is worthless.

What the chart mainly reflects, I would argue, is the great sorting-out of the parties that has occurred as a result of the Civil Rights revolution of the '50s and '60s. Since then the previously solid Democratic south has become even more solidly Republican. As a result, the Republican Party is now essentially a sectional power--- a party of white rural Southern resentment. (It has adherents in the mid-West as well, but there simply aren't enough people there to provide any electoral heft.)As it loses its ability to elect presidents, its increasingly ideological supporters take ever more jaundiced views of Democratic presidents.

We have the politics we have today because of the relentless radicalization of the Republican Party.

Jon Patrick said...

Yeah Larry, I miss those debt-free days under Regan and the 2 Bushes too! Amazing how Democratic Presidents results always seem to matter under the next Republican, but Republican results only matter during the explicit time in office.
It's shocking how the wealthiest Americans have convinced the middle class to vote for politicians who continually vote against their own best interest, and always with the 'get out of jail free' card of "it was the Democrats! Spending!" Disgusting how so many make their minds up before actually looking at the facts.

Wiley Coyote said...

So, Jon,

What you're really saying is that Blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats due to them promising free stuff and delivering, as they have since Johnson?

Demanding they vote their "color" lest they be called Uncle Toms?

Wiley Coyote said...


I suggest you look at the county map of the 2012 Presidential election

That White, rural Southern resentment only comes out when Yankee liberals claim to know it all and believe THEIR ideology is somehow superior.

Seems to me a lot of Democrats are now regretting they ever voted for the narcissistic, inept, Democrat President we now have.

Larry said...

I noticed so many folks felt the increasing debt was due to so many other factors, other than free stuff for folks.

Maybe this will help their understanding.