Very much so, according to an interesting new poll from the Pew Research Center. Chris Cillizza writes in The Fix: “Partisanship doesn’t seem worse. It is worse….Essentially, the two parties agree on almost nothing… and that’s a very scary prospect indeed.” Of particular interest to Independents (albeit leaning Independents, as opposed to true self-identified independent voters) is a finding that we may not be as modifying an influence on overall partisanship as we think:
…while it’s become old hat to attribute this growing partisan divide to the bases of both parties solidifying and forcing those who don’t see things through their ideological lens out, the Pew poll finds that the rise of partisanship extends to independents as well. “Even when the definition of the party bases is extended to include these leaning independents, the values gap has doubled between 1987 and 2012,” according to a memo released by Pew describing the findings.
Referencing the graph above from the Pew report, the short of it is that in 1999, the average percentage point difference between Republicans and Democrats on 48 values question asked as part of the Pew Research poll was 11 percent. As of this year, that difference had increased to 18 percentage points.