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Politics

Fear of the other: Explaining hyper-partisanship during record-low party affiliation




GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz has gone after Republican party leaders for backing the recent bipartisan budget deal
GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz has gone after Republican party leaders for backing the recent bipartisan budget deal
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

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GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz has gone after Republican party leaders for backing the bipartisan budget deal, which the House passed earlier this week.

Seventy-nine Republicans voted yes on the proposal, which now heads to the Senate.

Cruz criticized House Republicans for caving into President Obama’s demands. "It is complete and utter surrender," Cruz said. "We now have a GOP Congress, but no one watching this budget surrender would know it."

Cruz’s position bears out the findings of a recent study conducted by two political scientists at Emory College looking at partisanship: how and why it has come to gripped American politics.

Interestingly, they conclude that partisanship is driven not by people’s loyalty to their chosen political parties, but by their hatred of the other party. And because of that, less and less American politicians are encouraged to reach across the aisle to get anything done.

What are the implications of this premise?

​Guests:

Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory College in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the co-author of the paper, “All Politics is National: The Rise of Negative Partisanship and the Nationalization of U.S. House and Senate Elections in the 21st Century

Kevin Wagner, Associate Professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University and the co-author of the book, “Tweeting to Power: The Social Media Revolution in American Politics” (Oxford University Press, 2013)