“Democrats have joined Republicans in calling their opponents ‘enemies’”

From Aug. 1 piece by Philip Bump in Wash. Post:

In February 2021, soon after President Biden took office, CBS News and its pollster YouGov released data showing that most Republicans viewed Democrats in precisely that way. Asked to evaluate whether Democrats were political opponents (meaning that a Democratic win simply meant not getting desired policies) or enemies — “if they win, your life or your entire way of life may be threatened” — most Republicans identified the Democrats as enemies. Democrats, on the other hand, were more likely to call Republicans political opponents.

In research conducted last month, though, that’s changed. Now most Democrats call Republicans enemies in turn. There’s been a 17-point increase in the extent to which Democrats use that term to describe Republicans. Republicans are about as likely now to describe Democrats as “enemies” as they were 17 months ago.

There are (as CNN’s Ariel Edwards-Levy points out) some interesting demographic divides, particularly in comparison to the results in February 2021. For example, older Democrats have seen a much larger surge in their identification of Republicans as “enemies” than have younger Democrats. On the Republican side, it’s also the case that younger members of the party are less likely to identify the opposition as “enemies.”

It’s also the case that liberal Democrats are more likely to identify Republicans as “enemies” than are more moderate Democrats….

Then there’s the overlap of education and race. Whites in the Democratic Party are about as likely to call Republicans “enemies” regardless of whether they have a college degree. That’s not true among Republicans: Whites without a degree — a key bastion of Trump’s base of support — are now more likely to use the term to describe those on the left.

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