Thursday, January 28, 2021

Federico on the Widening US Political Divide

Headshot of Dr. Christopher Federico
Between COVID-19, civil unrest, and the recent insurrection at the capitol, this year the US has faced many challenges, all touched by politics. In a CBS Minnesota article titled, “Expert: Partisanship Sharper Recently, But Division Has Widened Over Decades,” Christopher Federico, PhD, professor in the Departments of Political Science and Psychology at the University of Minnesota explains how, thirty or forty years ago, “ideology - whether a person identified as liberal or conservative—was not as tightly as aligned with partisanship as it is now.” In particular, negative partisanship ( distaste for a different political party) has increased in past years. Furthermore, one’s political party may also influence the interpretation of facts. For example, a CBS poll showed that 96% of Democrats believe Joe Biden to be the legitimate winner of November’s election compared to only 31% of Republicans. Federico notes that these differing views on the fairness of the election can lead to further political division.

Composed by Flora Pollack, communications assistant.