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.
For example, 55% of Republicans say Democrats are “more immoral” when compared with other Americans; 47% of Democrats say the same about Republicans. Three years ago, 47% of Republicans and 35% of Democrats said members of the other party were less moral than other people.
For the most part, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to ascribe negative characteristics to people in the opposing party, with one exception: 75% of Democrats say Republicans are “more closed-minded” than other Americans, while 64% of Republicans say the same about Democrats.
Yet Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to view members of the opposing party as unpatriotic. A 63% majority of Republicans say that, compared with other Americans, Democrats are “more unpatriotic.” Just 23% of Democrats say the same about Republicans.
The survey also finds that partisan hostility extends beyond politics. Fewer than half of Democrats (45%) and just 38% of Republicans say that while members of the other party feel differently about politics, they share many of their other values and goals. Majorities in both parties say those in the opposing party do not share their nonpolitical values and goals.