In Defying the Odds, we discuss partisan polarization and views of Trump. During the campaign, he openly encouraged violence by supporters. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.
Eighty-two percentage points separated Republicans' (89%) and Democrats' (7%) average job approval ratings of President Donald Trump during his third year in office. This is the largest degree of political polarization in any presidential year measured by Gallup, surpassing the 79-point party gap in Trump's second year in office.
Trump's first year also ranks among the 10 most polarized years, along with the last five years of Barack Obama's presidency and several of George W. Bush's years in office.
The fact that the 10 most polarized years have all occurred in the past 16 years -- affecting both Democratic and Republican presidents -- underscores how politically polarized the nation has become. There have always been partisan gaps in ratings of president, just not to the degree seen over the past two decades.
About half of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters (47%) describe their own political views as liberal, including 15% who describe their views as very liberal, according to an average of Pew Research Center political surveys conducted in 2019.
The share of Democratic voters who describe their political views as liberal has changed little over the past few years after increasing steadily between 2000 and 2016.
Liberals outnumber moderates (38%) and conservatives (14%) as a share of Democratic voters. Yet combined, conservatives and moderates continue to make up about half of Democratic voters (51%).