- The Washington Times
Thursday, September 30, 2021

NEWS AND OPINION:

Republicans and Democrats alike could be shocked by how far apart they actually are in terms of basic beliefs and opinions.

An eye-opening new initiative from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics is now exploring the social, political and psychological divides between those who voted for Donald Trump and those who favored Joseph R. Biden in the 2020 presidential election.


“The divide between Trump and Biden voters is deep, wide and dangerous. The scope is unprecedented, and it will not be easily fixed,” said veteran analyst Larry J. Sabato, who is director of the center.

“Trump and Biden voters are at crisis stage,” said the initial analysis of the wide-ranging research which involves data analytics and ambitious polling which revealed a few commonalities between the two sides — but not many.

“These positives are offset by the fact that Biden and Trump voters do not see how working with the other side fits into a bigger picture or translates into benefits for them. If anything, they view compromise as contrary their own priorities. They are convinced that the other side is pursuing an agenda that is contrary to their interests, principles, and values. They are convinced they will suffer personally if the other side has their way, despite the fact that many Biden and Trump voters want many of the same things from government,” the study said.

“Illustrating the extent of the underlying divide, nearly 90% of voters on both sides agree that people like them won’t belong in America anymore if the ‘other side’ has its way, and more than 1 in 5 say they ‘agree completely’ that such is the case,” the research said.

The polling found that 52% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats agreed that the situation in America is such that they would be in favor of the proverbial “red” and “blue” states each forming their own country.

Mr. Sabato is also using innovative insight from Predictive Branding Partners, a Boston-based market strategy and branding group, to ferret out the “common ground” that might exist between the two widely divided voting demographics. The study — titled “Project Home Fire ” — is ongoing.

THEY SAY YES TO MARRIAGE

A group of 34 Republican senators are concerned about harmful marriage penalties in the Democrat’s “human infrastructure” bill and have fired off a letter expressing their ire to Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is leading the charge.

“Federal policy should be designed to foster strong marriages, which are the foundation of strong families and strong communities,” the senators wrote. “Unfortunately, despite its original rollout as part of the ‘American Families Plan,’ the current draft of the reconciliation bill takes an existing marriage penalty in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and makes it significantly worse,” the letter said.

The reconciliation bill could double certain existing marriage penalties, the lawmakers said.

“We believe that marriage is a vital social good. It is misguided and unfair for the government to build bigger barriers for couples to marry,” the senators advised.

The group includes Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the Finance Committee ranking member, plus Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

IVY COVERED HALLS

Politically correct behaviors and cancel culture have become so rampant at U.S. colleges and universities that there is now an interactive database tracking the phenomenon.

These events have been compiled by the College Fix — a student-written news organization — and they include evidence of book burning, censorship, renamed buildings, harassed guest speakers and fired professors among the many examples.

The site is now up and running with 1,400 entries — with much more to come. Readers can also submit examples of college cancel culture they have encountered as well. Find it all at TheCollegeFix.com/ccdb.

FOX NEWS TURNS 25

Fox News will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Oct. 7, 1996, founding with a one-hour special at 10 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday featuring a visit with the network’s longest-tenured employees — including Bret Baier, Steve Doocy, Lauren Green, Jennifer Griffin and Sean Hannity.

Fifteen other Fox News stars will also appear, from Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham to Greg Gutfeld and Jeanine Pirro.

Throughout October, Fox News will also air 50 short-form vignettes from network favorites, celebrities, regular personalities and founding employees to commemorate their milestone. Former President George W. Bush, Piers Morgan and football great Brett Favre are among those offering greetings and commentary. Find them showcased at FoxNews.com/FoxNews25.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Sonoran-style adobe bungalow built in 1911 in historic Dunbar Springs neighborhood of Tucson, Arizona. Three bedrooms, two baths, old-growth oak and tile floors, custom period painting, 10-foot beamed cathedral ceilings, second story loft, multiple wood built-ins; 2,026 square feet. Family and dining rooms, office, custom kitchen with polished concrete countertops, brick patio with gazebo, two-car garage with workshop. Priced at $495,000 through Longrealty.com; enter 22124153 in the search function.

POLL DU JOUR

• 33% of U.S. adults are “very concerned” about the size of the federal budget deficit; 54% of Republicans, 39% of independents and 17% of Democrats agree.

• 30% overall are “somewhat concerned” about the size of the federal deficit; 27% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 40% of Democrats agree.

• 14% overall are “not very concerned” about the deficit; 8% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 23% of Democrats agree.

• 8% overall are “not at all concerned” about the deficit; 4% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 10% of Democrats agree.

• 15% overall are not sure whether they are concerned about the deficit; 7% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 10% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 26-28.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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