Are Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, dogs and cats, really growing further apart? Some new Pew Center numbers certainly suggest this is the case -- well, not for dogs and cats, but yes for political beliefs. Look at the graph to the right, hot linked from the Pew site. And especially look at the methodological info below. Over 22 years, 48 values, trended for your ease and enjoyment.
Pretty damn telling.
The full report is broader, more comprehensive, and worth the read. It'll be depressing at times for Republicans, but take to heart the fact the data here do not go as far back as the 1970s and post-Watergate. Other data sources, such as ANES, do so, and you'll see this is all cyclical. If you look at this graph, for example, you'll see the 1970s drop and another when Clinton was elected.
The Pew report is something special because it goes beyond attitudes about political parties and gets into the stuff of what people know and think about the important issues of the day. Section 4 on religious beliefs is a personal favorite because I do research in that area. Section 11 discusses the partisan gaps, if that's more your thing. Finally, section 8 examines political participation
I will explore this report in more detail as the week progresses because it is full of good stuff.