Three years ago, Pew Research Center found that the 2016 presidential campaign was “unfolding against a backdrop of intense partisan division and animosity.” Today, the level of division and animosity – including negative sentiments among partisans toward the members of the opposing party – has only deepened.
The share of Republicans who give Democrats a “cold” rating on a 0-100 thermometer has risen 14 percentage points since 2016 – with virtually all of the increase coming in “very cold” ratings (0-24). Democrats’ views of Republicans have followed a similar trajectory: 57% give Republicans a very cold rating, up from 41% three years ago.
The survey by Pew Research Center was conducted Sept. 3-15 among 9,895 adults (it was completed before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Sept. 24 announcement of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump). It finds that both Republicans and Democrats express negative views about several traits and characteristics of those in the opposing party, and in some cases these opinions have grown more negative since 2016.