The United States is more polarized now than it was for most of the 20th century. According to the Pew Research center, there are much less moderates in 2014 than there were in 1994. I think that moderates still exist, but in smaller numbers. I also think that both parties have shifted to the left and right. Proof that moderates still exist is seen in the midterm elections. Even though trump won the 2016 election, Democrats took control of the house. White suburban women were a large part of the Democrats’ victory.
Today, it is difficult for someone to agree completely with polarizing candidates such as Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. For example, not many people agree with Trump using executive powers to allocate funds for a wall or block immigration from middle eastern countries. Republican issues such as opposition to gay marriage are also polarizing. Bernie Sanders’ belief in free college tuition and healthcare aren’t popular after people realize their taxes will skyrocket. Another reason candidates are polarizing is because they attack each other more ruthlessly and are less respectful than they used to be.
However, the specific candidates have become more agreeable within their party regarding their views. Currently, the Democratic candidates seem to be pushing each other farther left. An example of this occurred recently in the CNN Town Hall. Bernie Sanders was said that he would let people in prison for any crime vote. He was asked if that included the boston bombers, and he said yes. Later, Kamala Harris was asked if she agreed and she did. The increasing number of Democrats supporting universal health care follows the same pattern. Currently it is difficult for Republicans to do this because all of the focus is on Donald Trump. Ted Cruz is an example of a radical republican candidate, who ran for the Presidency in 2016.
Many people are still in the middle, but it becomes increasingly difficult to find a candidate they relate to. In 2020, that candidate would be Joe Biden. He would probably do very well in a general election because he doesn’t have many radical ideas, and is currently destroying Trump in the polls. According to RealClearPolitics, in a hypothetical matchup Biden would defeat trump by 7.5%, while Sanders would defeat Trump by 2.7%. Although polls tend to favor democrats more than republicans, as they did in the 2016 election, as of now Biden has a much better chance of beating Trump than Sanders. This shows that there are still moderates who don’t want a radical candidate.
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