Divided Government and Partisan Polarization

What are the positives and negatives of partisan polarization?

What is the sorting thesis, and what does it suggest as the cause of party polarization?


The sorting thesis says that voters change party allegiances in response to shifts in party position. It suggests that polarization is a function of voters’ paying more attention to national politics and voting more consistently.

Does gerrymandering lead to increased polarization?

How have the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movement affected partisan politics?


They have pulled their respective parties further to the ideological poles and have changed the issues parties consider. They may also have made compromise more difficult.