If you've watched cable news anytime in the last year, it probably seems like Democrats and Republicans can't agree on anything anymore. Fights about non-controversial items like payroll tax cuts and paying interest on our national debt turn into long drawn-out political battles on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
But according to researchers, Democrats and Republicans don't disagree any more than they did 40 years ago…
"Republicans and Democrats are less divided in their attitudes than popularly believed," according to researchers who on Friday presented a paper at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology's annual meeting in San Diego.
According to the society, data from "the American National Election Studies, a large survey of American's political attitudes and voting behaviors from 1948 to 2008 funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and from a nationally representative sample of American adults from 2008," show that "the actual gap between the parties' political attitudes has not increased substantially over time and that members of both parties have consistently overestimated the size of that gap."
"We found… perceptions of the Red-Blue divide are associated with greater political involvement such as voting and campaign contributions, independent of ideological extremity. The Red-Blue divide is therefore illusory but important."
Despite the finding that the right and left aren't quite as far apart as they think, that won't put an end to the petty partisan squabbling anytime soon.
Chimpanzees and human politicians share 99% of the same DNA, but that hasn't stopped one group from screaming and throwing feces at their enemies and the other from being monkeys.
Photo by Lester Lefkowitz/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Bipartisanship, Democrats, John Boehner, Republicans