Asked about what they like in a neighbor, Republicans and Democrats had different answers.
Nearly 40% of all Democrats said it might be tough to get along with a gun-owning family that moved nearby. But for 43% of the Republicans, belief in God most mattered.
Below you can see more of the Pew Survey’s answers:
Where are we going? To political branding.
Republican and Democratic Political Language
In a recent study, economists from Stanford, Brown and Chicago used the Congressional Record to identify increasing party polarization. Starting with Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America (mid-1990s), politicians’ party affiliation and their word choice connected more closely.
Continuing today, we have Republicans talking about tax relief and Democrats citing tax breaks. The estate tax was the Democratic term while the Republicans spoke of the death tax. Similarly, one group said drilling for oil and the other, exploring for energy.
In the following graph, the language predicting party affiliation began to multiply during the first Clinton administration:
Our Bottom Line: Political Branding
Let’s assume for a moment that the Democrats and the Republicans are the Coke and Pepsi of the political world. As parties with candidates that they hope to “sell,” they pay attention to their “customers” preferences on topics that range from neighbors to taxes.
As large powerful entities that share a market, we could even say they are behaving like oligopolies. And, like oligopolies, they are aiming for product differentiation by creating and perpetuating a brand with distinctive words and phrases.
My sources and more: Thanks to marginalrevolution for alerting me to this new study on words indicating congressional party affiliation. Then, for a slightly different perspective, Pew Research is always a handy way to grasp how people feel about important political issues.