Tag: polarization

How the media’s coverage of political polarization affects voter attitudes

The issue: Ideological divisions between Democrats and Republicans are more pronounced and views of the opposing party more negative than at any time in at least a quarter century, the Pew Research Center reported in June 2016. Approximately half of party members – 55 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of Republicans – say they fear the other party. Those numbers are higher for party members who either donate or volunteer.

Some attribute the dark mood to the media’s coverage of American politics, which can give the impression that the nation is irreconcilably split. But how do such feelings affect political attitudes? Does the media’s coverage of partisan debates and disagreements deepen the discord?