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Partisan polarization surges in Bush, Obama years

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Since 1987, the values gap between American Republicans and Democrats has nearly doubled from 10 percentage points to 18 percentage points, according to Pew Research Center data. Nearly all of the increases have occurred during the two most recent presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. More than 70% of Republicans and nearly 60% of Democrats feel their own party has not been holding to its traditional positions. Over the same period, divides between gender, race, religion and education remain relatively unchanged. The widening partisan gap, however, has had no effect on resentment between the increasing differences between classes. There is no increased hostility toward the rich and no increased cynicism among lower-income people.