A new study from Pew Research Center clarifies one of the oft-cited paradoxes in public opinion research — social distancing does not breed anti-government or negative attitudes toward the government. The study, Social Distancing From Government, examined the views of nearly 15,000 people across the U.S. between 2016 and 2017. It found that among those who were excluded from political groups, “participation in favor of government policies with fewer freedoms seems to be a lagging indicator of a political leftward trend.”
One implication is that it makes sense for people to leave political parties as they grow older. The more ideologically diverse a group is, the more disconnected it is. Though most people are removed from the parties, younger people tend to maintain an affiliation. In particular, Republicans who are still “contiguous” with the party are more likely to back policies that vary from the Republican approach than others.
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