Washington—The new president, the new Congress and the same parties are divided, right? The familiar lament about Washington’s red/blue split has begun, and there are many signs that those left/right differences still exist. But when both sides are dealing with internal tensions, this simple binary color code may miss some important nuances in 2021 politics.
The latest opinion polls by NBC News show that there are obvious differences between the Democratic and Republican parties, which may have practical significance on a series of issues in the next few months.
On the surface, the party identification number looks familiar.
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But a little deeper into these two guerrillas, the numbers will change. In fact, four “contracting parties” appeared in the data.
Approximately 17% of the interviewees said they were Republicans, and they considered themselves mainly supporters of former President Donald Trump. Another 17% describe themselves as Republicans and they are supporters of the Republican Party.
The numbers on the other side look familiar.
Approximately 17% of the interviewees said they are Democrats and supporters of President Biden in the primary election. Another 17% of the interviewees said they are Democrats, they are supporters of further left-leaning candidates, they are Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts or Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Yes, you are right. These are all 17. Of course, these numbers are not all smooth sailing. A different poll may reveal subtle differences in the group. And all these figures still leave about a third of the registered voters in the survey without camp.
However, there are clearly still some actual differences between the parties, and other questions in the polls indicate that they may be meaningful in the coming year.
Consider how the two groups currently view the leaders of their respective parties.
17% of the polls made up of Trump Republicans are not the same as the former president. They are very enthusiastic about him: 99% of them give him a positive personal evaluation, while 87% of the evaluation is “very positive.” To be clear, this is not a job performance level. This is a measure of whether they have a positive attitude towards him personally.
Among Republican members, this number is still high, but lower and not so stable. The number of “positive feelings” dropped by more than 20% to 78%, and only 44% of this group were “very positive” towards Trump.
For Democrats, Biden has the same powerful control in the party. 93% of Biden State Democrats have a positive attitude towards the president, while 74% are “very positive.”
Among the Warren/Sanders Democrats, this number has dropped. Just over 75% said they have a positive view of Biden, and only 27% said they have a “very positive” view of the president.
There is considerable sunlight between each Democratic and Republican party. As Trump’s presidency and Biden’s Democratic honeymoon gradually decrease, these attitudes may change over time. All parties may find that there are some strong differences within themselves.
When you look at the strategy, the fault lines between the segments become more obvious.
Now there is Joe Biden in the White House, while the Democrats are controlled by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The question is where these four groups are on Biden’s agenda. There are differences.
Among Republicans, the Trump part of the party firmly opposes compromise with Biden in order to reach a consensus on legislation. Only 25% of Trump Republicans approve of this approach.
But Republicans feel completely different. More than half (55%) of people agreed to compromise with Biden in order to reach consensus on legislation.
On the Democratic side, there are also disagreements: one in ten Biden Democrats want congressional Democrats to work hard to pass the Biden agenda, while 20% of this group would rather “persist in” to adopt more advanced policies.
However, among the Sanders/Warren Democrats, the approval rate for adopting the Biden agenda dropped to 60%, and about 30% of people favored a route that could adopt more advanced policies.
These figures at least show that Congress may be a little surprised in the coming months. They are not screaming party discipline numbers on either side.
Again, the data comes from a turbulent poll. The event took place from January 10 to 13, just after the Congressional riots and before Biden’s inauguration.
But these splits are nothing new. They reflect the differences between the parties that we have tracked over the years. These differences are uniform and are also evident in the inspection of the new government and Congress. Regarding all the social media chats about brewing a “civil war” in the United States, these figures indicate that the true story in the coming weeks may be an intra-party conflict.