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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Partisanship Continues to Define and Divide Us

In two recent polls by Pew Research Center, partisanship in the United States continues to define us and divide us as a nation. This trend has been with us for almost a decade, and with these two reports, shows no sign of changing.

In a poll released July 10, 2017, the organization found that opinion of national institutions; churches / religious organizations, banks / financial institutions, labor unions, the national news media, and colleges / universities, and the impact they have on the nation differs based on political party. The study, Sharp Partisan Divisions in Views of National Institutions”, shows significant differences in four of the five areas.

Wide partisan differences over the impact of major institutions on the country

In the second poll, Partisan Shifts in Views of the Nation, but Overall Opinions Remain Negative; Just 26% say ‘their side’ wins more often than it loses in politics” released August 4, 2017 Pew looks at how people view their station in life and how they view the political landscape for “people like them”. It is interesting to note that with the change of the presidency from Democratic to Republican, the percentage who believes their side loses more also switched. In September, 2015, 79 percent of Republicans felt their side loses more. In June, 2017, 79 percent of Democrats feel that way.

Shifting partisan views on how life has changed for ‘people like you’

Partisanship continues to define and divide us as a nation. Those familiar with this blog know this is not the first Pew Research study I have highlighted. Voter frustration with what has been called “tribal” behavior is manifesting itself by voters abandoning both the Democratic and Republican Party, registering without party affiliation; Non-Partisan in Nevada, or in one of the minor political parties.


I believe the political parties will not willingly make the changes needed to reverse this trend and return to a political climate that fosters collaboration and problem solving, where we track wins or loses not by political party but by impact on Americans. After two attempts to have the Nevada legislature act, I am relatively certain it is the voters who will have to make the change. Nevadans for Election Reform is leading this effort in Nevada.                                                    


  1. LOL and OMG--can't stop myself. One of my former college professors (btw--amazing) added some insight to this argument.
    When asked why does it seem that college and university professors are all so liberal and just not "like us"? Reply "Who else would work in this job for this pay?".

  2. This says a hell of a lot about our political atmosphere today.

    The interactions are more like watching two street gangs squaring off; everyone on the other side is an enemy with whom there's no discussion, no negotiations, and no decency in our conversations.

    Just winners and losers.