Is the polarization of America due to Republicans moving more to the right or Democrats moving left? The latter.
Public Opinion Strategies, a respected pollster which handles polling for the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, has examined data going back dozens of years and concluded:
“Over the last decade, Republicans barely budged on a host of issues while Democrat’s positions on abortion, climate change, immigration, and affirmative action have fundamentally shifted.”
For example, there has been a ten-point jump in the percentage of Democrats who declare themselves “very liberal.” They now make up nearly a third of all Democrats.
Or consider responses to the basic question of whether the government should do a lot more to meet the needs of people. In the 1990s, only 45% of Democrats thought so. Now that number is 82%. The percentage of Democrats who believe immediate action must be taken to combat climate change has gone from 50% in 2014 to 72% today.
On race relations issues the polarization is severe. To the question; “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement— America is a nation where people are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” 70% of Republicans agree with it, along with almost half of independents. But only 28% of Democrats do, down from 46% just a decade ago.