A new poll confirms what we already know: America is no longer the United States, but instead is divided into two entrenched factions with opposing views on just about everything.
Gary Langer reports for ABC News, Oct. 28, 2013, that a new ABC News/Fusion poll finds an “almost unfathomable gap” divides Americans on their views concerning trust in government, immigration policy, the role of religion and the value of diversity in politics, treatment of women in the workplace and the opportunities afforded to minorities in society.
The divisions are largest among partisan and ideological groups, whom the poll calls “liberal Democrats” and “conservative Republicans.”The gaps on all issues between the partisans are so enormous and so fundamental that they seem to constitute visions of two distinctly different Americas.
Here are the poll’s findings. The percentages indicate those who agree with various statements.
1. Women have fewer opportunities than men in the workplace:
- 68% of Democrats in general; 76% of liberal Dems
- 38% of Republicans in general; 35% of conservative Repubs
- 63% of women; 43% of men
2. Nonwhites have fewer opportunities than whites in society:
- 56% of Dems; 62% of liberal Dems
- 25% of Repubs.
- Interestingly, more partisan Democrats (62%) hold this belief than nonwhites themselves (51%)!
3. It would be a good thing if more women were elected to Congress:
- 60% of Dems
- 23% of Repubs and 26% of conservative Repubs say it makes no difference to them if more women were elected to Congress.
- 49% of women vs. 36% of men
- 54% of nonwhites; 38% of whites
4. It would be a good thing if more nonwhites were elected to Congress:
- 50% of liberal Dems
- 5% of Repubs
- 29% of nonwhites.
5. I trust the government in Washington to do what’s right:
- 39% of U.S. adults
- 62% of Dems; 69% of liberal Dems
- 25% of Repubs; 18% of conservative Repubs
6. Support for legal status for undocumented immigrants:
- 77% of liberal Dems; 32% of conservative Repubs
- 70% of nonwhites; 43% of whites
7. Political leaders should rely somewhat or a great deal on their religious beliefs when making policy decisions:
- 39% of Dems and Independents; 32% of liberal Dems
- 60% of Repubs; 65% of conservative Repubs.
- 74% of evangelical white Protestants; 37% of non-evangelical white Protestants; 16% of Americans who profess no religion.
- 75% of liberal Democrats support
- 76% of conservative Republicans oppose
9. People like me are well represented in Congress:
- 47% of nonwhites; 24% of whites
- 43% of Dems; 27% of conservatives.
10. Race and partisanship:
- 24% of whites and 43% of nonwhites call themselves Democrats
- 30% of whites and only 10% of nonwhites call themselves Republicans
11. Millennials (age 18 to 31 born from 1982 to 2004) and other age groups. Millenials are:
- More apt to favor legal status for undocumented immigrants
- Less religious: less apt than their elders to say politicians should base policy positions on their religious beliefs
- Less engaged in politics: Only 54% of millennials report that they’re registered to vote vs. 87% among those 32 and older, peaking at 94%for seniors.
The poll concludes that while political divisions aren’t new, partisan and ideological differences of 20, 30, 40 and even 50 points raise challenging questions of how political accommodation can occur in this country.
METHODOLOGY – The ABC News/Fusion poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 17-20, 2013, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including design effect.
For the PDF of the poll’s results, including charts, click here.
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.