Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


To what extent are Americans divided in terms of their liberal and conservative preferences? Have their opinions become more polarized over time? Much of the recent literature on voter polarization suggests that there are far fewer moderate voters in the United States today compared to in the recent past, and that the country is in the midst of a massive “culture war” between liberals and conservatives. By examining public opinion polls taken from the 1970s until today, this analysis finds that in contrast to the suggestions that these authors make in regards to voter polarization, American voters have not steadily become less moderate since the 1970s. Rather, the level of polarization in America has tended to rise and fall over time depending on the political situation in the country.