Over the duration of this course, we have also been undergoing our current primary presidential election race, as Abramowitz has expressed in “The Polarized Public? ” the polarization, the divide, that separates individuals as well as certain groups of people from each other and their beliefs has been evident in these debates.
Many such as Fiorina and his coauthors may express the situation to be on the contrary, but Abramowitz even mentions that Fiorina fails to acknowledge that in Americans today “sorting by party is actually an important contributor to the growing ideological polarization among the public and especially among the politically engaged public” (pg. XV, Abramowitz, A. ), it is evident that since Abramowitz published “The Polarized Public? …”, the polarization has been more distinctly prominent to date.
In terms of parties, we talk about Democratic, Republican, further specified as conservatives and liberals, express themselves on key issues such as health care reform, race, education reform, abortion, civil rights, and leaders take these issues and derive their key factors based on the popularity and grow on it in a specific manner, either with a conservative standing or with a more liberal view. Against Fiorina’s claims Abramowitz argues that the polarization in political elites is a reflection of the polarization of the “engaged public”.
The engaged public are those who pay attention to what the current politicians, or political candidates are saying and doing, and polarization is most prominent in those that actively participate in current political campaigns, via donations/fund-raising, personal involvement beyond just voting. Abramowitz addresses “the deepening divide in presidential voting between red states and blue states as it is itself a reflection of the important differences between social characteristics and political beliefs of voters in these two types of state. (pg. 87, Abramowitz, A), according to ANES data in text for 2008.
Whether you choose to single out states, counties or any other unit of measurement geographically, it is evident that the partisan divide is much deeper today as it was thirty or forty years ago. The red states and blue states seem to differ heavily in terms of “religious orientation”, the red states are the conservative, frequent churchgoers, as the blues are majority liberals who are not as frequent of churchgoers.
According to a PEW article from 2013 “Those self-identifications reflect real and deepening divisions on a host of issues, the Pew Research report concluded: “Across 48 different questions covering values about government, foreign policy, social and economic issues and other realms, the average difference between the opinions of Republicans and Democrats now stands at 18 percentage points…”(Paragraph 4, Drew Desilver), thus signifying that the polarization has found deeper crevices to build upon.
Most of what Abramowitz further details, the cultural divide, the geographic divide, the tea party movement all hold up as they explain how these factors have upheld the widening differences, the racial divide does not necessarily separate into reds and blues, though it may not be completely uninvolved as a contributing factor, some as during the Obama administration may argue that the blacks were more inclined to democracy as President Obama was the candidate.
The Elected Officials have increasingly polarized votes in the Congress, “ there is now no overlap between the two parties; in the last full session of Congress (the 112th Congress, which ran from 2011-12), every Republican senator and representative was more conservative than the most conservative Democrat (or, putting it another way, every Democrat was more liberal than the most liberal Republican).
Abramowitz has expressed that the two oppositions seems to have different views in connotation to each other, Democrats seem to not form to serious of an opinion about the Republicans, yet the Republicans do not share same empathy, they rather believe the democrats are a threat to the nations well-being.
The media seems to have had one of the most relevant and influential roles in the last decade of forming the strongest and most liberated set of democrats, republicans, independents and the overall engaged public, it is due to the likes of Fox News as Abramowitz mentions in the section involving the tea party movement to have played a crucial role in publicizing and encouraging the audience to either oppose an idea or fully support an idea, furthermore Fox News is usually favored by the conservatives, and MSNBC seems to be favored mostly by consistently liberal audience, as per earlier mentioned in the course Trumps popularity seems to stem within those less educated and very meekly persuaded by the like of media and television.
The audience that is majorly politically engaged holds either the very conservative or the consistently liberal views, it is the political activist that are regular to further emphasize the polarization amongst the red states and the blue states, to date it is very visually prominent as well as factually prominent that polarization does exist, it is seen in our current presidential race, as Trump advocates immigration related issues more heavily, Sanders promises to provide free education, these candidates do not seem to be overlapping in much of their views, or standings , they hold many issues against each other as red and blue states, opposing based on their party held views, or even by ruminating further on issues that were looked upon or addressed with very slight interest in prior races, it is the polarization that makes the primary race and the American government so dysfunctional, it is up to the elected or running election officials to further either divide or diminish the divided by narrowing down to similarities in priorities of each partisans opinion.
After reading “The Polarized Public? Why American Government is so dysfunctional” and further looking upon the PEW research center as well as ANES data base Abramowitz seems to have categorized the factors that influence the polarization, and it seems that the divided in belief and opinions have widened, and are now deeply influential to political parties and government fundamentals, as the polarization is found in elected officials which further affect the Congressional decision making and law passing.