Republicans and Democrats don’t just disagree on how to solve the nation’s problems — they’re conflicted about what ails the nation in the first place.
A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds huge gaps in how partisans view the seriousness of issues like climate change, gun violence, racism, immigration and income inequality.
Among registered voters who plan to support Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections, seven-in-ten say that the treatment of minorities within the criminal justice system is a “big problem,” compared with just 10 percent of those supporting Republicans who say the same. The gap is equally large when it comes to the share of voters very concerned about climate change (72 percent of Democratic supporters compared with 11 percent of GOP supporters) and gun violence (81 percent of Democratic supporters compared with 25 percent of GOP supporters.)
Issues of race and gender also concern Democratic voters this cycle far more than Republican ones. Half of Democratic voters say that sexism is a big problem facing the country, while just 12 percent of Republican voters agree. Sixty-three percent of Democratic voters cite high concern about racism, compared with just 19 percent of Republican voters.
Democratic voters are also far more concerned about health care affordability (83 percent call it a big problem, compared with 56 percent of Republican voters), college affordability (71 percent of Democratic voters and 47 percent of Republican voters call it a big problem) and income inequality (77 percent of Democratic voters but just 22 percent of Republican voters call it a big problem).
The only issue for which Republican voters express significantly more concern than Democratic voters is illegal immigration. Three-quarters of Republican voters but just 19 percent of Democratic voters say illegal immigration is a “big problem.”