The Partisan Divide

Are politics more polarized than ever?


If political ads sound unusually harsh this campaign season, it may be because the major parties are highlighting their differences in hopes of tipping an evenly divided electorate their way. Over the past couple of decades, elected officials and party leaders have become more openly partisan, with greater divisions between the parties across the entire range of political issues, including taxation and government spending, foreign policy and cultural issues. As the politicians present completely opposing views to the public, so-called swing voters are becoming an endangered species. Voters are either becoming more closely aligned with one party or the other, or dropping out of the political process altogether. If this year's presidential race remains as close as polls indicate, it will be the second squeaker ...

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